As a member of the public, when you are stopped by a member of the law enforcement, acting appropriately helps ensure that both your safety and theirs remain the priority. Contrary to sometimes popular public opinion, law enforcements does not look to make trouble for citizens; the focus is to promote safety for all. It is important to remember this when dealing with an officer, as they are going to respond if they feel their safety, or the safety of the general public is being put at risk by your behavior.
If an officer pulls you over, remember the following:
- When being asked to pull over – put on your right turn signal so the officer is aware that you have seen their request for you to pull over. When you can pull off to a shoulder of the road, a side street, or a public driveway, do so. If you are focused on safety while still being compliant, and officer is not going to assume that you have something to hide.
- When communicating with a police officer – open your window, turn down your radio, and hang up your mobile phone. It is important to give the officer your full attention. Sometimes this is challenging when their are other people (like young children) in the car, but do your best to cooperate first and foremost.
- When pulled over – if you are not asked to get out of your vehicle, do not do so. Keep your hands where they can be seen, and try to avoid making sudden movements. Retrieve items in the vehicle only when an officer has requested that you do so.