In driving school, we are all taught to go the speed limit and obey the laws of the road. However, in the unfortunate circumstance we do get pulled over for a speeding ticket, follow these best practices to ensure that both you and the police officer are safe.
When You See Police Lights:
- First things first, slow down
- Turn on your blinker. Signal your lane change to the shoulder or your turn off of the road
- Look for a safe place to pull over, either on the righthand shoulder or an accessible parking lot. A public location is best
- Stop the vehicle and put it in park
Once You Have Been Pulled Over:
- Make sure your car is fully parked
- Turn on your hazard lights (both blinkers)
- Roll your window down, turn off all music, and if it is after dark turn on your interior light
- Place both hands on the steering wheel
- Wait patiently until the police officer comes to you
When the Police Officer Approaches Your Window:
- Reach for your license and registration when asked
- Make sure you keep both of these updated!
- Place your hands back on the steering wheel after giving the officer your identification
- Address them as “Officer _____” to show a sign of respect, and answer politely to any questions asked
- Listen to what the officer says
- Apologize and ask if there is anything you can do
- Do NOT fidget or grab for anything else (the police could misinterpret this as reaching for a weapon)
Although we cannot guarantee, following these steps and it may land you in good favor with the police officer and could help you get out of a speeding ticket. However…
If the Police Officer Gives You a Ticket:
- Even if you don’t feel like it, keep being polite and respectful
- (Apologize again)
- Wait for the police officer to walk back and get into their car before rolling your window back up or reaching for any items
- Look over your shoulder and check all mirrors for oncoming traffic
- Drive away slowly once the coast is clear
- Make note of what you did wrong and DON’T do it again!
Word to the Wise:
If possible, only pull over in a public area. Avoid deserted roads and dark, unlit areas. If the police officer turns on their lights behind you, turn on your hazards and continue on to the nearest public area. To avoid misinterpretation, you can call 911 and explain that you are being followed by a police car but will not pull over until you feel safe. Even though it may seem like fiction, fake police officers are out there. If you ever feel uncertain, call the 911 to communicate your concerns and avoid assumption by both parties.
Do your part to help keep the roads safe for everyone by following these guidelines.
Better yet – follow the rules of the road and avoid a speeding ticket altogether!