Most New York drivers will get stopped by a police officer at least once in their life. A traffic stop is a temporary detention of a driver by police to investigate a possible crime or minor violation of the law, and one should know what to do when stopped by the police.
The moment a driver notices the police car, they should pull over. This lets the police officer know that the driver is complying with them. To pull over, drivers should use their signals and pull as far right to the shoulder as possible. It’s a good idea to pull over as soon as possible as well. By doing this, drivers can review the validity of the officer’s allegations.
After the driver has stopped, it’s always important to be polite during the entire interaction. Even if the officer presents aggressive behavior, being polite will help protect the driver. Be sure to roll down the window, turn off the engine, and place hands on the steering wheel. Drivers should never have their hands hidden or reach for anything without the officer’s direction or permission. A police officer can mistake the driver for reaching for a gun.
In the event that a driver suspects that the officer isn’t really a police officer, the driver should ask for proper identification politely. In addition, drivers can ask for a supervisor to be called to the scene or request to follow the officer back to the police station.
Police officers aren’t typically allowed to search a vehicle at a traffic stop unless they have valid reason to. With that said, drivers should not give officers a reason to search, such as hiding or throwing something out of the window.
Individuals fighting a traffic ticket might want to consider an attorney. A skilled attorney can look at a driver’s case objectively and honestly and help drivers fight for their rights or negotiate a lesser settlement.