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Posted: 1/4/2002 10:23:49 AM EDT
My father taught me to pull over as soon as it's safely possible, put my window down, turn off the vehicle, put the keys on the dash, put my hands on the wheel at 11 and 1 o'clock, leave the seat belt on and put the interior light on if it's dark out. Basically, to put the officer at as much ease as possible in what's always a tense situation. Is the driver a Methodist deacon or Chevie Kehoe? Given that the accountant-looking guy you just pulled over for whatever reason could be the next Ted Bundy, what would you like to see happen/not happen the next time you perform a vehicle stop?
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 10:28:58 AM EDT
I know a man who did basically that, and the cop got really agitated, started asking him questions - "Have you ever been arrested before?" "Why are you acting like someone who's been arrested before." You can't win. Just be still and shut up.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 10:32:52 AM EDT
I've always had good luck by just keeping my hands visible, making no sudden motions, and remaining courteous. Likewise, I wait until asked to produce my license and registration. Also, making normal eye contact is helpful. If the officer is a good sort, you'll make his job easier, and be on your way. If he's a dick or if he's an F-N-G, you won't give him an excuse to escalate. You can't win them all, but some things are always a safe bet.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 10:40:44 AM EDT
I treat them like what they are, tax collectors. Give em the info they ask for and move on. Don't try to explain or get a break. You see I am not a pretty girl.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 10:42:13 AM EDT
Thanks for the replies, gents, but I'm really looking for responses from people who make vehicle stops everyday. The method my Dad taught me has never gotten me jacked around and, on the contrary, has resulted in fairly low-stress encounters and a few "Slow it down to the limit and have a nice day" warnings instead of citations.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 3:31:16 PM EDT
I've been stopped a few times (all minor speeding, 10-15 over...I have a lead foot, what can I say). Each time I've done the same thing. I shut the car off (leave keys in ign), turn on lights if at night, roll down window, place hands casually on top of wheel. I produce license/reg when requested and tell the officer where/why I'm reaching before I do it. I don't ask for any breaks or make excuses. If I'm asked what the limit is, I tell him what I think it is. If he asks me how fast I was going, I usually admit to exceeding the limit but not a specific number. So far, I've gotten 2 tickets (CT SP and MA SP) and 3 verbals (local PDs) in the last 5 or so years. The last one was a local PD in my current town of residence...he seemed to appreciate my reaction and, strangely, asked me at the END of the stop if I was armed (probably saw my VA CHL in the computer). SP Troopers will cite you 99% of the time for a moving violation. There's no way out, it's their main job. Locals might cut you some slack if you're respectful and act in a way that defers to their safety.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 4:38:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2002 4:41:41 PM EDT by Dave_G]
Folks, I do believe that Jarhead_22 wants to hear from the stopp[b]ers[/b] about what they would like to see the occupants of a vehicle doing when he approaches on a vehicle stop, not the stopp[b]ees[/b] and what they do to try to get out of a citation. That said, what you said except hands in plain sight, palms up and open. Dale007, Attitude is everything. Treat 'em like tax collectors and they will. Be civil and polite, and don't lie. Some officers will allow you to talk your way [b][red]into[/b][/red] receiving a citation.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 5:16:56 PM EDT
I don't see a need to shut off the car. It seems to either be too hot or too cold around here, so I'd rather you keep the heat or cold blowing, especially if you have kids or old folks in the car. Try to keep your hands in sight; on the steering wheel is fine. Please don't reach into the glove compartment or for your wallet when I'm approaching the car, wait until I ask for it. For the most part, I don't care to write tickets and usually give warnings, so you have to really talk yourself into a ticket. A little civility and courtesy goes a long way. You may still get a ticket, but if you are civil, chances are I won't remember the ticket when/if it goes to court. For some reason, I seem to remember the ones that lie or like to argue.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 6:59:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dave_G: Folks, I do believe that Jarhead_22 wants to hear from the stopp[b]ers[/b] about what they would like to see the occupants of a vehicle doing when he approaches on a vehicle stop, not the stopp[b]ees[/b] and what they do to try to get out of a citation.
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Exactly. Thanks Dave_G and RNYC for your replies.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 8:42:14 PM EDT
Don't fidget, or act furtive. You don't have to put your hands in sight, just don't be bouncing around. Don't ask what the problem, or my problem is. I will tell you why I stopped you. I will retrive your D/L, look at it and you. I will then explain why I stopped you, it's not a quiz show, so I won't ask why. I will then ask if there is any reason for your doing this. I have received some legitmate answers over the years. Based on attitude, severity of the infraction (and it had better be pretty damn bad for me to stop you in the first place) and any other factors. I will warn you, warn you in writing, or issue a citation. After I issue the citation I stress that here you are allowed to go to drivers school one time a year to keep points off your D/L, and this usually saves on insurance. I even give a short spiel about how to get set up for school. All I ask is please do not exit the vehicle unless asked. Rudeness will not get you any breaks. Don't be coy, or argue. If you feel you didn't commit the infraction, you have a chance to go to court. Don't yank your fuzz buster off the dash, don't tell me there is no way I clocked you on Radar, because your fuzz buster didn't go off. Basically, don't be stupid or an asshole, or combination of the above. Because after 18 years, I pretty much have seen it all.
Link Posted: 1/4/2002 9:03:22 PM EDT
DaveG and RNYC are right on target there. Unfortunately, I live in NJ and I realize that auto insurance is out of control here. Therefore, depending on what the violation is, I will stop a vehicle and have no idea yet if I'm going to write a ticket. My department likes to run alot of special assignments such as "Aggressive Driving" and "Seatbelt Enforcement" and my hands are kind of tied when I work those. Adding to Jarhead's post, have your vehicle's documents readily available and don't make me stand at your window for 10 minutes while you look for them. Give me a chance to ask a few questions and explain why I stopped you before snipping at me and asking, "Why did you stop me?" or "What did I do wrong?" Answer any questions I ask you HONESTLY and don't give me the attitude like I am causing you an inconvenience. If you know the light was red or you were going too fast, own up to it and don't act like I am making this stuff up. Don't ask me if I know Officer whoever from up North, chances are I don't and it won't help you anyway. Most of the time, if I feel Mr. Citizen is treating me courteously and honestly, I either cut him loose or I may write for a different violation that has no points. And if I do issue Mr. Citizen a summons, I don't expect him to say "Thank you", but I sure will remember him if he gets pissed off and peels away. If Mr. Citizen comes to court to fight the summons and I have no idea who he is, I tell Mr. Prosecutor to do whatever he wants which is usually very beneficial for Mr. Citizen. Happy Motoring!
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 7:11:09 PM EDT
Pull to the right and don't take 8 blocks to do it in. If I've stopped you during hours of darkness, have the window rolled down and turn on the interior dome light. Make eye contact and be civil. I get uneasy when someone doesn't look at me when I'm talking to them. I've stopped you for a reason, so unless you're set on taking the matter to court or just trying to piss me off, simply acknowledge and/or apologize for the violation and things will go smoothly. I don't like excuses and I've heard every story in the book. Make sure you have all documents with you; license, registration and insurance. If you have a warrant that you know of, let me know. I'll say it again, don't try to piss me off. This may sound strange but I've lost count of the people who lean out their windows and scrream a barrage of profanities or challenges. Wrong way to start things...and you WILL lose.
Link Posted: 1/6/2002 7:18:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/10/2002 12:15:49 PM EDT
Pull over somewhere safe, roll your window down before I get there, know where your D/L, registration and insurance card are located and get them quickly. Carry your drivers license (Not having your D/L almost guarantees a long distasteful day.) As noted above (normally I'm a patrol officer), when on a special traffic assignment for selective enforcement, if you get pulled over, you're almost 99% certain to get a ticket. Don't dance around in the car, don't reach under the seat, etc. In other words, don't be stupid. As for the tax collector stuff, give it a friggin break. YOU made the decision to commit whatever traffic infraction you committed to get nailed. The actual probability of getting stopped for a traffic infraction is so low that it almost approaches zero. Think about all of the thousands of times you've sped or rolled stop signs or sorta ignored red lights on an open road in the middle of the night or failed to signal lane change or cut someone off or tailgated some old fart poking along in the left lane, yadda yadda. So if you got stopped, ya probably deserved it. And if you got scrolled, suck it up. Ther's always a few guys that will write you for everything but most of us are very fair...too nice probably.
Link Posted: 1/14/2002 5:13:52 PM EDT
I don't like folks who stop in the middle of the damn road then get ticked off when I get on the PA and ask them to pull up somewhere off the roadway so we all don't get hit. I don't like the folks who play roadside lawyer and start asking me the questions...such as "why did you stop me?" I don't like the folks who ask for my name, IT WILL BE ON THE TICKET. Besides, I wear a name tag as well. I don't like the folks who start "name dropping" in an effort to make me think they are someone special. I like the folks who are up front about taking responsibility for their actions. I almost always reduce the charge where I can or issue a warning for those type folks. To me, this demonstrates a person's ability to see where they went wrong and are willing to modify their behavior. If done properly, an officer will many times get a "thank you" from a violator because the officer treated the person with respect and fairness. I LOVE MY JOB!!!
Link Posted: 1/14/2002 11:11:24 PM EDT
If you get pulled over, just use common sense and be polite. Dont make the officer stand at your window and have to tap on it several times for you to roll it down. I work nights and deal with alot of drunk and ignorant people, so its a nice change to stop someone and have them be courteous and polite. I give verbal warnings in most cases, if I write a citation its usually a lesser fine than what I could write. Do NOT lie to us. An example of what not to do: I pulled a woman over a few nights ago for speeding 15 over the limit. She said she was speeding because her brother was just in a car crash, possibly fatal, and that she needed to get to him. I told her that as soon as I verified her story, I would let her off due to an emergency situation. I asked where the accident occured, what hospital he was in, a phone number I could call to confirm the accident, etc etc. She could not give me a location or phone # to check her story. I eventually got her to admit that she was lying and made the whole thing up to get out of the citation. I am sure you can guess whether or not she got a citation. Be honest with us, we dont like to be lied to just like you dont. -Charlie
Link Posted: 1/14/2002 11:28:27 PM EDT
I have been stopped 6 times. 3 times for speeding. Once for expired tags, once for for a quick lane change (suspected DUI), and once for peeling out. Each time, I pulled over as soon as possible, turned off the car, rolled down the window, and kept my hands in view. I was polite a curteous to each of the officers. 1) I was driving down the FLA Turnpike, when I noticed the Cop. I was traveling about 93 when I noticed him. Fortunately, he didn't clock me until I was down to 87 mph. I pulled over immediately, turned off the vehicle, and kept my hands in view. He came up to the side window after what seemed forever (running plates I suspect). He knocked on the passanger window and I rolled it down. I was polite and curteous. I promised to drive slower and got a written warning and was delayed for almost 45 minutes. 2) I was driving down SR-520 (Central Florida Dragway) and came over the bridge seperating Brevard and Orange Counties. As I hit Breavrd County, boom Blue lights. I was going 68 in a 55. I followed the same procedure. But, this time I didn't have my registartion. I received a ticket for not having my registration and after promising to slow down I got off of the speeding violation. The cop seemed to think since I had out of town plates I would just pay the full fine of $65. No such luck. I got a new registration and paid a $5 or $10 fine down at the courthouse. The fine for 13 over would have been $100 if I remeber correctly. He was banking on me just mailing in the $65. 3) I was driving up Alafaya Trail (SR-434) one morning around 1:00 AM. I was new in the area and I didn't realize that Alafaya merges to 1 lane at McCulloch Road. I changed lanes quickly upon seeing this. I didn't notice the cop behind me becuase he was following with his lights completely out in once of those Jet Black Oviedo PD Cars on an unlit road. Well, as soon as I hit the Oviedo City limits, his light s and blue lights come on. I pull over. He filps on his floodlight to blind me. He comes up to the window and starts asking me question. He asked where I lived. I told him Knight's Krossing as I was a UCF student. He then flashes his flash light in my eyes and asks If I have been drinking, to which I respond no. After a while, he is satisfied that I am sober and I explained what happened. So, I was free to go. more to come...
Link Posted: 1/14/2002 11:40:13 PM EDT
4) I was driving down the circle around UCF. I was going 32 in the 30 zone just before Frat Row. I come up to Frat Row and it blocked off as it is Rush Week and they need to control the flow of Alcohol. So, I come up to a 3-Way intersection. I make a U. The cop turns on his lights and pulls me over. He seems to be a nervous newbie, so I takle extra care to keep my hands in view. He then says my Plates expired the day before. WTF, one day ? Apparently, he ran my plates for going 32 in a 30. Newbie probably wanted to try it and figured I was perfect. Well I got off with a warning after explaining I had no idea the plate was expired. I thought it expired in Novemeber, but it expired in August. Difference of whose name was on the Reg. 5) I was waiting forever in the McDonald's Drive through and the woman wasn't coming over the speaker. So, I peeled around to the parking lot and went inside. Well, I go inside and order, when some fat woman cop comes up to me about peeling out. We walk outside and she goes on about endangering the kids. I apologize while thinking What kids, it is the middle of the school day. There aren't any customers in the place. Well, I apologize and get a tongue lashing, but no ticket. 6) I miscounted. No number 6.
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 1:39:16 AM EDT
Most of the safety issues have allready been covered but I would like to add that a person should throw away ALL there expired vehicle registrations and insurance cards. Why people keep these things for years in there gloves boxes on there visors etc. I have no idea. That is one thing I don't like is when a violater has to sort thru all his old stuff to find the current stuff.
Link Posted: 1/26/2002 4:10:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2002 4:11:27 AM EDT by pakrat]
Originally Posted By Redhawk: Most of the safety issues have allready been covered but I would like to add that a person should throw away ALL there expired vehicle registrations and insurance cards. Why people keep these things for years in there gloves boxes on there visors etc. I have no idea. That is one thing I don't like is when a violater has to sort thru all his old stuff to find the current stuff.
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Thank you. I hate having to stand there and hear: Violater - "Wait a minute officer, I have it right here, wait, here it is. Officer - No ma'am this one is expired. Violater - oh, I'm sorry. Let' see, hear it is. Officer - No this one is expired. Violater - Oh, I am so sorry, hold on a minute.. Officer- Sign here, press hard, three copies! UUGHH, throw the old crap away and keep only the new. Thank you, Redhawk!
Link Posted: 1/28/2002 8:14:21 AM EDT
As a highway patrol officer, I am just going to say... 1) Leave the car on or off. Air conditioning is a good thing. I'm going to have the driver exit the vehicle anyway, don't make the passengers suffer. 2) Let me know if there are any weapons in the car. If there are, keep your hands at 12 o'clock where I can see them. And tell me where it is. A nasty situation, but putting the officer at ease can keep the situation civil. 3) I will give drivers every chance to get a warning. Be honest. A tictet will come if you say... a) I was going the speed limit officer, in fact, I had my cruise control on. b) Uh, don't you know? c) My insurance and registration are on the kitchen table at home. d) Driver's license? what's that? 4) Be honest. If you tell me your speed right off the bat, or just tell me that you are in violation, a warning could be in your future. (here is a hint. If an Officer asks you a question, he probably already knows the answer. Example- Sir/Ma'am, how many beers have you had? Answer - "uh, none" or "uh, a couple.") That is my two cents. Everything else said by the LEOs above me I second.
Link Posted: 1/30/2002 10:14:19 AM EDT
Thanks gents. I'm surprised to see this still in play almost 4 weeks after I posted it.
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