Yahoo had an article on what to do when you get stopped by the cops. Now this isn’t exactly the first time the subject has come up, but it’s always a good one.
The article covers what’s been said before but, what the heck, let’s stir the pot again. I’ll insert my candid personal opinions. I’m sure you’ll do the same.
Rule No. 1: Don’t argue. True. If you take issue with it at the stop, you’re going to get the ticket. You may have been getting one anyway, but argue it right there and you’ll seal the deal.
Most of the arguments I got from drivers happened when there were others in the car, perhaps a date or another couple. Most of the time I wanted the driver out of the car when there were other occupants. That way we could talk and he could save face if that was his concern.
This was especially true with kids in the car. I always spoke to the driver out of the car. No sense traumatizing the kids. They already think we’re going to lock them up if they don’t eat their veggies. (Thanks, parents.)
Don’t lie: Most people do, however. For one, they aren’t good at it and, two, most actually look like they’re lying when they do.
For some, it’s a reflex. When people lie to you for so many years, you get pretty good at recognizing the characteristics. If you have teenagers, you’re an expert.
Relax: Getting pulled over doesn’t mean you have to yank the car over to the side of the road in two seconds. When the blue lights go on, find a spot and pull over to the RIGHT. As long as you’re not going about 70 mph, the officer will know you’re looking for a spot.
Again, don’t pull over to the left. Find a spot to the right.
At night, I suggest you turn on the interior light after you stop. Just like the movies, it’s best if the officer can see your hands.
And don’t get out of the car with your hands in your coat or pants pocket fishing for your license; keep your movement nice and slow. If your license is in your glove box, tell the officer and they’ll instruct you.
Remember, you might be citizen of the year, but the officer doesn’t know you.
Don’t name-drop: It might work at times, but rarely. It’s almost like arguing with the officer. Name-droppers are just short on the popularity list of the drivers who argue. It’s cheesy and it doesn’t usually go over well.
I had a guy drop my name to me once. Go figure.
There are probably a few more good suggestions out there, but the basics are the same. Sometimes the cop has decided he or she is going to write the ticket, meaning the driver was screwed from the beginning. But most traffic stops don’t happen that way. The officer usually makes the decision after speaking with the driver. (Keep in mind this doesn’t include when alcohol is involved.)
What you say does make a difference.
Now, go ahead, vent away …