Where To Pull Over For The Police

If you are ever pulled over by the police, better to have a plan in advance. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts.

Pulling over for the police

The Do’s

DO Pull Over As Soon As Possible

When police light up a driver, they expect the driver to take immediate action to pull over and stop. Most police officers will wait to light up a driver until they think the stop can be safely made. So in the police officer’s mind, the officer wants you to stop immediately.

DO Signal You Intend To Pull Over

If you can’t pull over immediately for some reason, signal you intend to pull over. You can do this by turning on your hazard lights or maybe waiving out the window, and slowing down some. We see instances where a driver isn’t sure what to do, so they just keep on driving as they were looking for a spot to pull over. The police officer doesn’t know what the driver is thinking. If a driver doesn’t pull over immediately or otherwise signal they intend to pull over, the police may think the driver is willfully ignoring them, which can lead to problems.

DO Pull Over To The Right

This often comes up when a driver is in the left lane on a multi-lane highway. Even if you have to switch a bunch of lanes, move to the right to pull over. Every time we see a driver stop on the left, the police get on their loud speaker and ask the driver to move to the right. There is almost always going to be more space on the right to safely move off the roadway.

What if you’re not sure it’s a real cop?

Signal to the officer you intend to pull over by putting on your hazards or waiving out the window, look for a well-lit public space, and call 911. Tell 911 you are being pulled over but you aren’t sure if it is a real police officer.

pulling over for the police

The Don’ts

DON’T Stop In The Gore Area

The gore area is that area on the highway where two solid white lines come to a point, often at an exit. This is a very dangerous area to stop.

DON’T Keep Driving Just Becuase Your Destination Is Close

Your house may be two blocks away, but once the police officer lights you up, he wants you to pull over NOW.

DON’T Flee

Fleeing can create a lot of problems. It usually results in an escalation by law enforcement. Additional police units may be called. In Phoenix, they might bring out the helicopter. In extreme situations, it could involve a PIT maneuver or spike strips. Lastly, there could be additional criminal charges. If a police officer believes the driver was not stopping on purpose, there could be a misdemeanor failure to stop charge. If the officer believes the driver was really fleeing, there could be a felony charge of unlawful flight.

Gore point on a highway

After You’ve Stopped

We wrote a different post called Ten Tips For Your Next Traffic Stop. The idea is to put the officer at ease and make it through the traffic stop safely.

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