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  • Use the passenger side

    Almost got hit on my first week of FTO. I think I am going to change my approach to passenger side. Does anyone here go to the passenger side everytime?
    Thanks, stay safe.

  • #2
    Originally posted by wannabeGAcop View Post
    Almost got hit on my first week of FTO. I think I am going to change my approach to passenger side. Does anyone here go to the passenger side everytime?
    Thanks, stay safe.
    sounds like you are not off setting you patrol vehicle-at least(min.) off set by 2 ft and at least a car length behind.if you are making traffic stops in a heavy veh. traffic area and cannot direct your contact off street/highway onto a side street or pkg lot or side of the road,the contact from the passengers side will be very helpful-it also allows you to SEE more into the vehicle(if the windows) aren't tinted.and "yes" I also cross between the vehicles,ala, my patrol units front end and the motorists vehs' rear. some officers and FTOS say "No" to this ,but it only takes a few seconds,and to me its better than walking all the way behind your patrol car to come around and make contact( you can lose night vision from your overhead lights and you also lose a few seconds of observation on the suspects-a definite "no-no")-if in doubt,hands out the window and "don't move" is what they hear from me..
    "we're americans ! We don't quit because we're wrong, we just keep doing it wrong UNTIL it turns out Right"...

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    • #3
      Normally I do go the passenger side, but not always. It depends on conditions; traffic flow, parking lot stops, driver/passenger actions. But 9.5 of 10 times, when on the interstate, I am going to the passenger side.

      It is more of what will make you feel comfortable in regards to your safety. I was recently intorduced to a new technique. I feel it is a good idea in regards to watching the violating vehicle, but not so sure about other safety issues.

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      • #4
        Pretty much what stealth said. I was trained to make passenger side approaches and almost always do. If it's a parking lot or somewhere where there is very little traffic and lots of room, I'll approach on the driver's side.

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        • #5
          Georgia has a "move over" law requiring a motorist to slow down or in a four lane, to move to the right hand lane when they see the blue lights of a traffic stop.

          Saw a bunch of films of cars hitting stopped vehicles. If you're anywhere near the vehicle struck, you're probably going to be in trouble. I guess passenger side is better, but most of my guys use the driver's side, because that's the way we're taught.

          Edit: Make that the "Left hand lane" or the lane away from the stop.
          Last edited by Gene L; 06-19-2007, 12:57 PM.
          "Say hal-lo to my leetle frahnd!"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Gene L View Post
            Georgia has a "move over" law requiring a motorist to slow down or in a four lane, to move to the right hand lane when they see the blue lights of a traffic stop.
            In New York we have a GO FASTER, and GET CLOSER law. Everyone moves over to the lane closest to the cop and goes faster.

            I work mostly in urban areas, so I go on the passenger side because they usually don't expect it. I'll also approach on the drivers side the first time, and maybe on passenger side the second time. SO i can get a better look around the car.
            "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." ~ Romans 13:4

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            • #7
              I agree with DOAcop, you have to off set your patrol vehicle and turn the wheels toward the road.

              I disagree with walking between the cars. Unless you don't mind losing your legs. You never know if the motorist will slam it into reverse or an approaching drunk will take you out.

              At night it is a no no because you are giving up your position. With the take down lights on...they have no idea which side you are approaching on.

              Staggered approach is the key. Don't make it a habit to always approach on the same side.
              This profession is not for people looking for positive reinforcement from the public. Very often it can be a thankless job and you can't desire accolades, because those are not usually forthcoming. Just do your job to the best of your ability and live with the decisions you've made.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by deputy x 2 View Post
                Staggered approach is the key. Don't make it a habit to always approach on the same side.
                Yep, keep them guessing. I use the passenger side approach any time there's enough ground left on the side of the road to allow for it. Many of our roads have steep ditches on the side, so its not always an option.

                For me, the passenger side is more about visibility than it is about getting away from traffic. As mentioned, if someone blows into the vehicle, it doesn't really matter where your standing, you're getting hit. However, I can see much better into a vehicle walking up on the passenger side.
                Originally posted by kontemplerande
                Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by stealth600 View Post
                  Normally I do go the passenger side, but not always. It depends on conditions; traffic flow, parking lot stops, driver/passenger actions. But 9.5 of 10 times, when on the interstate, I am going to the passenger side.

                  It is more of what will make you feel comfortable in regards to your safety. I was recently intorduced to a new technique. I feel it is a good idea in regards to watching the violating vehicle, but not so sure about other safety issues.
                  I was originally trained (like a lot of cops) to do the driver's side approach. About a year prior to retiring, I routinely used the passenger side approach

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                  • #10
                    I go to the passenger side almost every time.

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                    • #11
                      I always offset the vehicle if on the road but, most of the time I won't hit my lights until I'm near a buisness, etc 90% of the time the person will pull into the parking lot or more open area just like I wanted them too. Most of our roads have very narrow shoulders. At night I always approach the passenger side.
                      "Do not draw me without honor"

                      "Do not sheath me without Justice!"

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                      • #12
                        I tend to switch up depending on where i stop somewhere, and the amount of people in the vehicle....great for a suprise walkup. Especially if you are uneasy about the occupancy! Can't tell you how many times I have scared people when I knock on the passenger window
                        "A young man who does not have what it takes to perform military service is not likely to have what it takes to make a living".
                        John F Kennedy, US

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                        • #13
                          echoed.............

                          Originally posted by stealth600 View Post
                          Normally I do go the passenger side, but not always. It depends on conditions; traffic flow, parking lot stops, driver/passenger actions. But 9.5 of 10 times, when on the interstate, I am going to the passenger side.

                          It is more of what will make you feel comfortable in regards to your safety. I was recently intorduced to a new technique. I feel it is a good idea in regards to watching the violating vehicle, but not so sure about other safety issues.
                          ''Life's tough......it's tougher if you're stupid.''
                          -- John Wayne

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                          • #14
                            I have started doing the passenger side approach upon initial approach. Most people will be suprised by this. Once I have their lisence and have run them, or whatever my reason for going back to the car, I go to the driver side at that point because they are now thinking I am going to the passenger side. It has worked well for me so far. I catch them by suprise everytime.

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                            • #15
                              I go for the passenger side approach. Especially on the Interstate. Texas has that move over law too. The problem i have is that most people dont know, or follow that law. I can at least see more and get ready if a drunk or onlooker is going to hit my squad or me doing the passenger approach. Alot of the perps also think that your are going to come up to them drivers side. Have surprised them many times by doing the opposite approach.

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