Vehicle stop etiquette explained

Staff report

What should you do if you are driving and get stopped by an officer? Sgt. Neil Dickenson of the Minnesota State Patrol says that first of all, always pay attention to your surroundings, especially looking in your rear view mirror every three to five seconds to be aware of any emergency vehicles approaching.

“At first sight of the red lights behind you, pull over to the right and stop as far off the road as possible, as soon as you can. Don’t keep driving. The officer probably knows the road very well and intends for you to stop right away and they will protect the scene with their squad car and lights.

Once you are pulled over, remain in the vehicle and keep your hands on the steering wheel. Do not make any sudden or suspicious movements,” Dickenson said.

The officer should approach the vehicle and let the driver know what he wants next, and will explain why he stopped the vehicle.

“Pay attention to what the officer says and listen carefully to him and any instructions. Always keep your driver’s license with you, and have your current proof of insurance card ready to display to the officer when he requests it,” said Dickenson. “A lot of our contacts last longer because drivers have to spend time looking for these items.”

If you have any questions about what has taken place during the stop, just ask the officer after he seems to have completed the contact.

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2016-06-18 digital edition

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