average of three in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related
crash at some point in their lives. The driving behaviors associated with
aggressive driving -- speeding, red light running, following too closely, and
others -- cause hundreds of crash-related deaths and thousands of injuries each
year. Lap/shoulder safety belts, when used correctly, significantly reduce
the risk of crash-related fatalities and injuries. Traffic stops often result in
the identification of criminals who are suspected in other crimes.
effectively address these public health and safety issues, law enforcement
agencies across the country enforce traffic laws. Traffic law enforcement is a
time proven method of: increasing pedestrian safety, seat belt, child safety
seat, and helmet use, reducing the incidence of impaired and aggressive driving,
and increasing the apprehension of dangerous criminals
in recent years, the public has been made aware of incidents that have occurred
between citizens and law enforcement during traffic stops. Most of these
incidents were positive and did much to advance the public's perception of law
enforcement. Some incidents were negative and disturbing, and created public
you are a motorist, here are some ways to improve your traffic stop experience:
the "Golden Rule" and treat the officer the way you would like to
that you are required to cooperate with all reasonable requests that law
enforcement personnel make.
- If an
officer signals for you to stop, remain calm and pull over safely.
prepared to produce your driver's licence and other documents, based on the
laws in your jurisdiction.
in the vehicle unless the officer tells you otherwise.
your hands visible.
- If you
are stopped by a non-uniformed officer in an unmarked vehicle, you can ask
the officer for identification.
- If you
believe the reason for the stop is vague or unclear, you can ask the officer
- If you
are uncomfortable about stopping because an area is deserted or not
well-lit, explain this to the officer and ask if you can proceed to a more
populated or better illuminated place.
questions and complaints about an officer's treatment of you can be
forwarded to the officer's supervisor.
speed, drive aggressively, or drive while you are impaired. Always wear your
seat belt and correctly buckle up any children who are riding with you. Yield to
pedestrians when they have the right-of-way. If you follow all traffic laws, you
reduce your chances that the police will stop you.
to find the "positive" in the traffic stop. Use the information you
have received to make yourself a better motorist.