Special Report: Pulled over by police. Now what?
Imagine driving down the road and when you check your rear view mirror you see flashing lights. You're being pulled over by police. It doesn't happen often so you're not used to it. So what should you do?
Fox26 News sought out a veteran California Highway Patrol officer for a few pointers.
Those flashing lights get the adrenaline flowing every time. The quick inventory begins with what did I do wrong. Is he going to write me a ticket? How much will it cost? All that comes before the officer reaches your window. "Good afternoon sir do you have your driver's license."
CHP officer Dave Singer is a 16 year veteran on the force. "If you happen to be in that sometimes unenviable position where there's lights and sirens behind you we just ask you to remain calm. There's no reason to panic in those situations. On average
Officer Singer makes 25 to 35 stops every day. His best advice, take a deep breath and relax. "A lot of times we see people get scared by the lights a little bit and they'll hit their brakes really hard. That's not safe for us or the person driving the car. Just relax, take your foot off the accelerator, put on your turn signal and begin to move your way to the right hand shoulder of the road."
Once your car comes to a stop stay inside. "I'm going to ask them very politely to get back in the vehicle. I'll come up and talk to you. There's no need for us to get out on the side of the road." While you wait Officer Singer recommends putting your hands on the steering wheel and let the officer take it from there.
"Do you have a driver's license? Yes I do. "I approach every car in the same way. I treat every citizen with respect and what they get in return, they bring respect back to me."
Don't rush to get your license and registration. Singer says that's the officer's job to ask. "There shouldn't be any mysteries going on with a law enforcement investigation. As long as were all open and honest it should end without any kind of confrontation.
Singer makes his living patrolling the highways. He says drivers aren't dumb and if they've broken the law, chances are they know it.