Last week, I was stopped for speeding in Springfield, Tennessee after I left the courthouse. As the officer was walking up to the truck, the Sandra Bland case crossed my mind and how should one handle being stopped by the police. Here are eleven tips on surviving a traffic stop.
1 Keep your hands on the top of the steering wheel so the police officer can see your hands.
2. Keep your registration and insurance documents in a marked envelope. Keep them in a dedicated location. Don't put them in the glove box or center console with all your other junk.
3. Smile when you greet the officer.
4. Don't argue with the officer. They might be wrong, but the roadside is not the time or place to argue with the officer. The courtroom is the place to make your case.
5. Ask for permission to get your driver's license from your wallet or purse.
6. If you have a handgun carry permit, tell the officer if you have a weapon in the car. Don't get them the weapon.
7. Remain polite and respectful.
8. Do not consent to a search of your car or your person.
9. Do not admit to drinking.
10. Get out of the car if the police officer asks you.
11. Sign the ticket.
I showed this list to some police officers and they agreed with my list but added a bonus tip. Do not light up a cigarette as soon as you are stopped. The police officers indicated that they consider lighting a cigarette as nervousness or trying to hide an odor. Traffic stops are stressful on those getting stopped as well as the police.
Did I get the speeding ticket? I got a warning and drove off to Nashville.