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My name is Steve Young and I am a retired California Highway Patrol Officer. I will also be your instructor in one of the online traffic courses with B Line Traffic Schools. No matter what course you sign up for, my goals are the same: Present you with the information that you need in a way that will not put you to sleep and then get you back to your life.  Throughout some of the courses I have included interesting situations, people and other random things I have come across in my 25+ years with the CHP to break things up a bit. Ok ok, enough about me. Close this window and start your course with B Line Traffic Schools today.

What To Do If You Are Pulled Over By A Police Officer

30 Nov Blog | Comments

The first thing that you need to do if you are pulled over by a police officer is to remain calm. Many peoples’ first instinct is to panic and slam on their brakes.  Quickly coming to a complete stop in the middle of a freeway, may cause other motorists to have to swerve to avoid a collision.  Like everything in life, the key to being safe when you are pulled over is to use your common sense.

Yield to the Right

The first thing you should do is to slowly and safely yield to the right.  Never yield to the left unless directed by the officer. This might be done using hand signals or using directions given over a public address system.  If an emergency vehicle, a police car, fire truck, or ambulance, is approaching you from any direction with its emergency lights on, the law is to yield to the right.  Of course, yielding to the right is not always possible; this is when common sense comes into play. Remember that the siren will only be activated if the driver of the emergency vehicle decides that it is necessary.

Find a Place to Stop

Find a safe spot to stop as you yield to the right.  If you see that the curb is red, stop anyway.  The officer will direct you from there if he feels it is necessary.  Be careful that you don’t block a driveway or an alley way.  If you’re on a freeway, yield to the right shoulder.  Officers are accustomed to this.  They may also direct you to exit the freeway for your safety as well as theirs.

Follow Directions

Once you have stopped, there is no reason to do anything else until the officer gives you directions. Wait until the officer asks you for your driver’s license, vehicle registration, or proof of insurance.  This way, he or she won’t have to worry about what you’re reaching for in your pocket, purse, or glove compartment. If you have been stopped for a warning, the officer may only need to see your license.

If you have passengers in the car, remind them to leave the talking to you unless there is a language barrier. Remember that in most cases the officer is stopping the driver.  If the vehicle has been stopped for a violation that a passenger has committed, the officer will explain this to the driver and then direct his or her attention to that passenger.

Be Respectful

When you speak to the officer, it is important to be polite and comply with his or her requests. Arguing or using vulgar language will get you nowhere.  Respect offered is respect gained.

If the officer issues you a citation, accept it without starting an argument. If you have doubts about the validity of the citation, you can later choose have it decided in court. Signing a citation is not an admission of your guilt. Signing is a promise to either satisfy the requirements of the citation or to appear in court.

Always remember that the officers are just doing the job that they are paid to do. Hopefully you will never have to meet another one under the same circumstances.  Remember to drive safe, not only for yourself, but for the safety of those around you.

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