OMG it happened! You’re speeding and you see a police car driving behind you and their red/blue lights go on. Being pulled over is never fun, and is nearly always stressful. But it doesn’t have to be! Yeah, you violated the rules of the road and are going to pay for it (no pun intended…well, maybe a little), however a “traffic stop” is a routine thing and if you follow the proper etiquette, it can help relieve the stress you’re probably feeling.
So first things first: Stay calm and pull over to the right side of the road and stay relatively still so the officer is put on alert when approaching your driver door. Be sure to open your driver window and keep your hands where the officer and see them (the steering wheel is a great place).
The officer will be asking you for your license and vehicle registration as well as let you know why they stopped you. If the officer hasn’t told you why they pulled you over it is okay to ask, just always be sure to be respectful and address them as “officer”, and not “bro”, “buddy”,”dude”,”man”, etc.
If you’re given a ticket/citation and you don’t agree, the place to argue it is in court, not on the roadside. It’s also okay to follow up with the officer’s supervisor later if you feel that the officer’s treatment of you was disrespectful or unfair.
At some point the officer will tell you that you can leave. Before you do, make sure you are calm, buckled and following the rules of the road even as you pull away – like using your turn signal to get back on the road. Don’t wait for the officer to leave first, they are waiting for you to leave first and will most likely keep their lights on which is to help you return to the road safely.