With City budgets pinched - there are cops everywhere with their radar guns looking for you! Your Roseville Auto Insurance or Rocklin Auto Insurance could be impacted heavily...
From our friends at the Insurance Information Institute of California: What to do if you are pulled over...
You hear the siren and glance in the rear-view mirror. Sure enough, flashing blue lights are glaring back at you. Maybe you rolled through a stop sign, driven a little too fast or thought you could make one quick phone call without your hands-free device. You might not even know why you’re being stopped, but it’s time to pull over.
No one likes to be stopped by the police, but there are things you can do to make the encounter less stressful and more favorable.
• Always keep current copies of your vehicle registration and proof of insurance in your vehicle, and carry your driver’s license.
• Acknowledge the officer with a nod or a hand wave and pull over as quickly and safely possible. Use turn signals to let the officer know if you’re turning into a parking lot or a side street. If you must pull over on the road, pull as far to the right as possible so the officer is out of the way of traffic when standing at your vehicle.
• Roll down the window and turn off the engine.
• Traffic stops are the most unpredictable and dangerous part of normal police work, and officers are trained to approach vehicles with extreme caution. Put your hands on the steering wheel where the officer can see them. Stay in your car unless asked to get out. Don’t reach for your license or start rummaging in your glove box – you might know you’re just trying to find your insurance card, but the officer doesn’t. You’ll have time to find these documents when asked for them.
• Keep your cool. Let the officer start the conversation and keep your answers brief and polite. A respectful “yes, sir” and “no, sir” or non-committal “okay” or “I see” will usually suffice. Don’t insist the officer tell you why you’ve been pulled over -- they’ll let you know. Be cooperative and hand over your documents when asked.
• If the officer’s car is unmarked or the officer is in plain clothes, you have the right to ask for his or her identification along with a badge.
• Don’t give the officer reason to search you or your car. Don’t throw things out the window and don’t reach under your seat. While officers may not search your vehicle without reason, it doesn’t take much to establish a reasonable cause.
• The officer will likely put your registration and license through a computer check for outstanding warrants or other violations. Be patient.
• If officers smell alcohol or sees an open container in your car, they may conclude that you’ve been drinking and may ask you to take a breath or field sobriety test. There’s really no upside to being difficult or refusing to comply with the officer’s requests.
• Most police cars are equipped with cameras and microphones. Your actions and words will likely be captured on camera and so be on your best behavior.
• If the officer decides to give you a ticket, sign it. The roadside is not the time to argue your case. Signing the ticket is a promise for you to appear in court, not an admission of guilt. Before the office leaves, you should understand the charges (regardless of whether you agree with them) and you should be given a paper copy of your citation.
Remember, the goal is to keep the exchange safe, short and courteous, and to keep it from escalating into a confrontation. Your attitude could be the difference between getting a citation or a verbal warning.
*Material and information on this page is provided by the Insurance Information Network of California® (www.iinc.org).