Traffic stops 2 – Minimising damage.

Continuing the post by Greg Rowe, a US law enforcement officer, about how to conduct a safe and comfortable traffic stop.

Please note that this advice applies to the US. Some alterations may be necessary for other jurisdictions/types of vehicles. It pays to ask your local law enforcement officers.

“If you are trying to avoid a ticket (smart idea) you can answer the questions in a way that acknowledges what you did without admitting guilt. Example: I stopped you for speeding. “I’m sorry, I didn’t notice how fast I was going” OR “I was thinking about my family and wasn’t paying attention for a second” OR “thinking about the kids recital tonight” OR “watching the idiot in the Mustang”. It humanizes you, admits fault without admitting fault and doesn’t trigger an argument. Some officers are different, but I’m more likely to give a warning if they acknowledge what happened. Your driving record is also a huge thing. If you’ve been clean driving for 5 plus years, you’ll probably get a warning. If you’ve got 3 tickets this year, you’re probably getting another. I’m looking to change driving habits.

Sometimes, you’re getting a ticket no matter what. Just realize, I’m not doing this because it’s personal, it’s just a job. Sometimes cops have a bad day or may have just had a horrible call right before that. You never know. The stop is like a normal interaction at your work. The car and the stop are my office environment. It’s not personal when you do your time card, handle a file, see a client, etc. It’s just your job. Same here. I like people, but I have a job to do.

If you’re drunk, you’re screwed. I can tell (no matter what cool things you think can hide). Think about how easy it easy to tell when your friends are drunk if you’re sober. I don’t have any mercy as no one forced you to make the multiple choices you’ve made to consume each drink and then decide to drive. I’ve been to too many of your houses to tell you about your relatives death due to alcohol.

Quick pro tip. If the lights are on for awhile and you here the siren start getting used, pull over now as you’re really starting to irritate the cop. The reason we get irritated at these is often this happens and you’re just trying to get past them as somebody is quite literally having a heart attack or emergency up ahead.”


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