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Posted: 3/9/2006 10:42:26 PM EDT
the drivers side of a vehicle on a stop?

I ask this question because of the...well....numerous times I have been stopped (at least I'm honest) I think half the time the officer was nuts for walking up to me on the drivers side. The only ones that consitantly use the passanger side are Highway jockies.

Obviously I'm not an LEO, but I can think of many reasons it is safer to go to the passanger side....

dont get run over (probably the best reason)
better tactically speaking (more metal and glass between the bullets and you)
you could watch all the occupants of the car better from the passenger side (i think)

So, do you approach the drivers side cause you dept says it is policy?
Do you just decide whats best on each stop?
Have you ever been disciplined for breaking policy by going to the 'wrong' side?

Any hair raising stories for my late night surfing???

thanks for enlightening a civilian.

47



Link Posted: 3/10/2006 4:51:35 AM EDT
There are pro's and cons for both styles of approach.

When I approach from the drivers side, I will stop well behind the door jam, forcing the stopped person to twist their body to hand me their license/registration, etc. Upon approach, you learn to look for brake lights coming on/off, reverse light coming on/off, as well as making eye contact with the person through the rearview mirror(s).

When I approach from the passenger side, I look for the same things, except usually the driver is trying to locate me, as like most folks, the are waiting on me to appear at their window. This is a benefit as I have seen many drivers/passengers pushing open beers, joints, bags of pot, etc under the seat or arm rest all the while trying to figure out where I am...

Like I said, benefits and disadvantages can be attached to each style. We have no set policy of which side to make an approach and all the academies and training I have had tought both styles. All in all the passenger side approach is probly the best.....
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 6:12:08 AM EDT
+1 on what what Bowhntr6pt said.
We teach our trainees to vary their approach based on the location they made the stop at, the time of day, traffic conditions and the number of occupants in the target vehicle.
The biggest thing is not to get complacent.
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 8:45:26 AM EDT
I love the passenger side approach. For all the reasons listed above. I go back to the driver's side when I need to get the signature. Keep 'em guessing.
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 10:34:28 AM EDT
I like that our policy gives the option, there are times that drivers side works well. Most of the time passenger's side is better IMO.
One time that I find driver's side approaches happen a lot is when there is a backup officer that can take the passenger's side. There are some sneaky things that can be done there as everyone in the car is paying so much attention to the officer on the driver's side they don't notice the guy standing on the passenger's side.

The other time a driver's side is good is when you've got someone stopped near a guardrail or very steep embankment where your options for escape would be even more limited than being on the driver's side, plus there is a chance of getting pinned or ending up falling a really long way.
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 12:10:11 PM EDT
most of my stops I will go to driver side, just preference. Depending on location of the stop and traffic and occupants in the vehicle I might go to the passengers side window.

+1 to what some of the other guys have said
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 6:53:58 PM EDT
I've seen some pretty poor LEO approaches to vehicles at times. I'd hate to hear about one of them not going home at night because of a careless approach. I carry handgun and carbine in my vehicle, if i'm stopped by a LEO I always drop my rear window and all four cab windows (they are extremely dark in the back) so the LEO has a good view into the vehicle cabin. I keep my hands on the wheel in sight also and not rummaging through the vehicle for license and insurance.

I don't think there is much difference in a driver or passenger side approach except for the traffic issue.
Link Posted: 3/10/2006 8:03:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Recon_by_Fire:
I've seen some pretty poor LEO approaches to vehicles at times. I'd hate to hear about one of them not going home at night because of a careless approach. I carry handgun and carbine in my vehicle, if i'm stopped by a LEO I always drop my rear window and all four cab windows (they are extremely dark in the back) so the LEO has a good view into the vehicle cabin. I keep my hands on the wheel in sight also and not rummaging through the vehicle for license and insurance.

I don't think there is much difference in a driver or passenger side approach except for the traffic issue.



If its nightime, good idea to turn on the dome light also.
Link Posted: 3/11/2006 1:15:13 PM EDT
Thanks for the replies, nice to get to chat with ya'll without being written a ticky, by the way I was folowing my buddy back home and we were under a 30mph chain control over the snowy summit last night and he was clocked at 62! I was about a 1/4 mile back going bout 40-45 (which was safe for conditions, I thought) and he got picked off.

I called him on his cell as I was passing him after he got pulled over laughing all the way. We were the only vehicles on the highway and there was about 3-5 inches of snow and we were both in 4 wd. Oh, well, lead dog took one for the team. LOL !

Link Posted: 3/15/2006 12:04:55 AM EDT
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