What to do when you get pulled over

By Jana
Road Safety

How to handle traffic stops

For teen drivers, speeding can be a leading cause for traffic citations. Other causes for being pulled over include running a red light or a stop sign. First rule of thumb is to remain CALM as the officer will state the reason for the traffic stop.

At first sight of lights:

  1. Scan ahead for a safe place to pull over never use hills, intersections or areas that impede the ability for other drivers to see you
  2. Use the correct turn signal to let the officer know you are aware you are being stopped
  3. Once stopped, place your car in park , roll your window down and place your hands on the steering wheel
  4. Wait for the officer to give you instructions
  5. He will ask for your drivers license, registration and proof of insurance. Let the officer know the location of your documents and ask permission to retrieve them. These should be kept in the center console, glove compartment or attached to the driver side visor.

If you do not understand the nature of the stop. Ask questions. Officers and drivers are expected to conduct themselves respectfully.
Being polite will keep the situation less stressful. Once you have received your warning or citation, wait for a safe opportunity to get back into the flow of traffic and most importantly DON'T FORGET TO USE YOUR TURN SIGNAL!


Accepting the citation is not admission of guilt and actions can be taken to fight it in court.

Teaching your teen safe driving tips should always include how to interact with an officer during a traffic stop. Having a plan of action and remaining polite and honest go a long way toward a smooth, less-stressful situation.

Officers and drivers must conduct themselves respectfully and according to both local and federal laws. 

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