While almost everyone has an urge to fight speeding tickets, not as many people have the same level of confidence for handling being pulled over on a freeway. Do you know what to do? Do you drive to the nearest exit ramp, or stop where you are? Any traffic attorney San Francisco will explain that there are seven rules when being pulled over, no matter where you are.
1. Turn On Hazard Lights
Whether talking to a Fresno traffic lawyer or any other California lawyer, the first thing you are likely to be told about traffic stops is to turn on your hazards or flashers. These lights signal to the police officer that you have seen them, and you are going to pull over at the nearest and safest stop.
2. Move to a Safe Place
When on the freeway, the closest and safest place to stop may be off of the nearest exit ramp. However, if you are between exits, then move over to the right shoulder where there is likely ample room. Never pull over to the left because that is illegal and unsafe.
3. Turn Off Your Engine
While there is some debate over whether shutting off the engine is necessary, it is an excellent way to demonstrate you are not going to flee. However, if you are unsure, ask the officer what they would prefer. Some won’t care, and others will.
4. Place Hands on the Steering Wheel
It recent years, the tragedies and dangers related to traffic stops have become common knowledge. To ensure the officer’s and your safety, keep your hands on the steering wheel and visible at all times. Do not give a police officer a reason to question what you are doing. Be as transparent as possible.
5. Turn On Interior Lights
An excellent way to ensure visibility, especially at night, is to roll down your windows and turn on the interior lights of the vehicle. However, try not to do this when the officer is approaching. You can do it as you are pulling over, or wait to ask the officer.
6. Wait for Instructions
How often have you been pulled over and just reached for your license and registration? Always wait for instructions. Reaching is dangerous for you and approaching officers. Wait to be asked for those documents and then explain where they are and when you are reaching for them.
7. Be Respectful
Respect and cooperation and the two things that you should always keep in mind, whether being pulled over in a neighborhood or the freeway. The police have a job to do, and they want to get you on your way as soon as possible. There is no need to be confrontational; you can always fight the ticket later.
Being pulled over on a freeway is uncomfortable because it seems dangerous, but it is safe. However, most officers will understand if you choose to pull off a nearby exit. Although, be sure you signal them with your hazards, so they know you aren’t fleeing. Later, if you dispute the citation, contact a traffic ticket attorney for suggestions on how to fight it.