Most of us have experienced the sinking feeling of seeing the flashing lights of a police car in our rearview mirror. After all, it is a reasonably common experience and it’s big business. It is estimated about 40 million speeding tickets are issued each year, generating over $6 billion in fines.
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Do you know how to not get pulled over? Do you know what to do if you get pulled over? Do you know “If I get pulled over what are my rights?”
How to Not Get Pulled Over
It may sound simplistic but obeying the rules of the road are the primary step you can take to not getting pulled over.
- Follow the speed limit.
- Always use turn signals.
- Fully stop at stop signs and stop lights.
- Make sure car windows aren’t tinted too darkly.
- Check that all external lights and signals are working properly.
- Ensure your license and registration are renewed on time. Many police departments use automated scanners to “run” plates and expired tags are easier than ever to spot.
What to Do if You Do Get Pulled Over
The first thing you should do is pull over as soon as it is safely possible to the right side of the road. Roll your window down and place your hands on the top of the steering wheel to make sure they are safely in view. If it is dark, turn on your interior dome lights. Follow any reasonable requests by the officer including providing your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance without making any sudden moves.
It may not be the most pleasant experience but odds are the worse case scenario (unless you are guilty of other infractions) is going to be a fine. Arguing, displaying an attitude or being otherwise uncooperative will likely only make matters worse. Keep in mind, accepting a ticket doesn’t mean you accept guilt.
“If I Get Pulled Over What are my Rights?”
Remember, anything you do or say during the course of getting pulled over can be used as evidence against you. If an officer asks if you if you know why he pulled you over, you are better served by saying “No, I don’t officer” rather than admitting speeding or some other infraction. You do have a right to know why you were pulled over.
A police officer must have your permission or reasonable cause to search your vehicle. It is probably best not to consent to a search, just in case there’s an issue with something in your vehicle you may not be aware of.
Keep in mind, the side of the road is NOT the place to argue your case. If you disagree with a ticket, fight it in court. Signing a ticket is not an admission of guilt.
Keep Your Cool
The biggest thing to keep in mind when you get pulled over is to keep your cool. Most traffic stops are over within minutes, so don’t make things more difficult for yourself in the long run by making some sort of “stand”. Make sure your registration is updated, your drivers licensed renewed, and your car insurance active.
Follow the reasonable requests of an officer during a stop and if you feel that fighting your ticket is the appropriate path to take, do so. With about 20% of Americans getting a speeding ticket each year, you are not alone.