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Traffic Cop Etiquette: How To Keep Things Simple

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When you get pulled over by a traffic cop, there are several things you can do to make the experience go quicker and perhaps drive away without a ticket. What many drivers do not understand is that a traffic stop is one of the most dangerous times in a traffic cop’s career. 

There are typically several things every driver should know about traffic cop etiquette. Pull over where you are out of traffic, turn on the inside light if it is dark, roll down your window, do not reach for papers until you are told to do so. Then, announce your intentions, be respectful, and most of all, never, ever admit guilt.

Pull over Where You Are out of Traffic  

Many drivers panic when they see the lights come on behind them. Do not panic. Put on your right turn signal so that the officer knows you are going to pull over. Take your time to find a safe place to do so. Too many traffic cops are injured by passing cars while walking up to a traffic stop. So, if you’re one of those cars, slow down, move over! It’s the law.

Turn on the Inside Light 

Turn off the radio and shut the car off. Turning on the inside light will allow the law enforcement officer to see what you are doing as they approach. Then, roll down the window, put both hands on the steering wheel, and wait. Do not reach for anything until you tell the traffic cop what you are doing and then take your time, do not make any sudden moves.

If your paperwork is in the glove box or glove compartment, tell the officer you are going to get them and wait for permission to reach. Then, after you give the items to the peace officer, put your hands back on the wheel.  

Be Polite & Don’t Argue

Being defensive and argumentative will not make the officer change their mind about giving you a ticket. It might have the opposite result. The officer might be thinking about letting you off with a warning. Being rude will only convince them it’s worth the time to issue the ticket.  

Never Admit Guilt 

Most traffic cops wear a body camera now. When the CHP asks you, “Do you know how fast you were going?” They do that for a reason. It makes their job that much easier in court when you say something like, “I may have been going a little over the speed limit,” or “I thought I had time to get through that yellow before it turned red.”

Hire a Traffic Attorney to Handle the Traffic Ticket Issued by the Traffic Cop  

Call Bigger & Harman, APC, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.

We handle many traffic tickets in Tulare County, and most traffic cops show up with their body cam video to prove you did what they accused you of doing. Therefore, you need a traffic attorney with traffic court experience.     

Email: attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com.  

References:

The 2020 CA Driver Handbook.pdf