What to do if you are pulled over? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

What to do if you are pulled over?

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Dougherty County -- Veteran Police officers say pulling over motorists is a routine part of their job, but one of the most dangerous. So we asked officers what you should do if they pull you over?

"Sir step back in the vehicle" Dougherty County Police Lt. Cliff Rouse pulled a motorist over for speeding, but approaches him as if he could be a dangerous criminal.

Rouse instructs Dougherty County Police on traffic stops. Rouse said "You are watching this person in the rearview mirror. You are looking to see if there any passengers in the back seat. And you are watching this person. Is he making any odd movements? Is he going for his driver's license. Is he reaching under his seat? Is he going about his visor? Is he going to his glove compartment? Is he going to his console?"

And Police train constantly for this moment. Chief Don Cheek said "The two most dangerous things Police Officers do on a regular basis is make traffic stops and answer family violence calls."

If Police stop you, it may not be simple. Rouse said "The officer may have pulled you over for a traffic violation, or he may have pulled you over because your vehicle matches the description of someone they are looking for in a robbery."

Lt. Rouse says stay in your car, and stay still. Wait until Police instruct you to get your ID or insurance card. Rouse said "Just tell the officer, I've got to reach here to get whatever you've got to get and tell them. And then the officer can direct his attention toward your hands or the area he needs to be looking at."

Police Officers have been killed in traffic stops, and they are trained to be defensive. Motorists reaching under seats or in glove compartments before officers walk up to the car, make them more defensive.

Officers say it is best to stay still and follow instructions to let them know you are not a threat.

Officers say many times motorists are mad and disagree about traffic violations.

They say beside the road is not the place to debate the ticket. At the Police Headquarters or Traffic Court is the place for disagreement.

posted at 4:34 PM byjimw@walb.com