Those rotating red lights are a dreaded sight in anyone's rear view mirror. You might not know what you did to get pulled over, but do you know what to do afterwards?
Sgt. Jon Felty with Allen Police helped answer that question during a recent forum at Allen Public Library. When drivers see those flashing lights, he urged them not to panic, slam on the brakes or stop in the middle of a lane. Instead, he suggested turning into a parking lot or pulling as far out of lanes of traffic as possible.
“If you move to a spot where it will be safer, it would be best for you to do that,” said Sgt. Felty. “Now, that doesn’t mean you move 13 miles to a safer spot. But [move] a reasonable distance.”
If the officer asks to see your license or registration, tell them where it is and that you are going to retrieve it.
“You can say ‘Officer, I need to reach into the console,’ or ‘I need to reach into my glove box,’ or ‘I need to reach into my purse.’ Speak the action you’re going to take before you take it,” said Sgt. Felty.
Sgt. Felty also advised drivers to turn off their radios, roll down their windows, and turn on the interior light so officers can see and hear them clearly while approaching the vehicle. If you disagree with the officer’s reason for pulling you over, it’s fine to complain or contest – but not while you’re on the side of the road.
“Comply at the scene, then complain the next day at the officer’s police department,” says Sgt. Felty. “If someone treats you unfairly or they speak to you in a manner you felt was harsh or impolite, you have the right and the process to complain. And a thorough investigation will be done.”