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Questions of Courtesy


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  • Questions of Courtesy

    A couple of months ago, I was pulled over for the first time. It was on my college campus and I friend and I were coming back from IHOP at about 1 am. I was making a right turn at a three way stop and sort of rolled through the stop sign very slowly because there was no cars in sight. A campus police car comes out of nowhere and puts on his lights. Well, I am about 25 feet from my dorm so I just pulled into the parking lot and parked instead of pulling over to the side of the road (the road is small and I would be pulling over onto a sidewalk). That poses the first question.
    1) Should I have just pulled over immediatly, or pulled into the parking lot?

    Second question. I didn't know whether or not to get out of the car since it was my first time being pulled over. So I just got out. The officer was really nice, just asked to see my license. He gave me a warning. Poses question two:
    2) Should I have gotten out or stayed in?

    Third question. One reason I wanted to pull over in the parking lot was because it was well lit. I have been wondering for awhile what to do if a police officer pulls you over on a dark road. Because, A) my safety. As a female, there is the concern over posers and B) the officer's safety. So, if an officer turns his lights on to pull me over, and I would rather wait until we get to a better lit area, what do I do? Put on my emergency lights so he knows I am acknowledging that he wants me to pull over?

  • #2
    First of all, it was a good stop.

    A contentious officer will not activate his red lights until you are in a safe area. Assuming that was the case, you should have pulled over immediately.

    You should not have exited your car. You should have remained in the car and patently waited on the officer, with your hands on the wheel.

    If you ever have reason to question the authenticity of a police car pulling you over, you can call 911 from your cell phone and the operator/dispatcher can tell you if it is a real cop. If you feel like you should continue driving to a safer location, turn on your four-way flashers and continue at a slow pace.

    It sounds as though the officer did things by the numbers and handled the stop very professionally.
    Last edited by Tennsix; 08-09-2005, 11:02 PM.


    • #3
      Okay, thanks.
      He was a nice guy.

      I waited in my car for a few seconds after he stopped me, but he didn't come toward me so I assumed he wanted me to get out. If I had been thinking I would have stayed there and just put my hands on the wheel like you said, but I was kind of scared being my first time being pulled over and all.

      He was nice, though. Told me he could give me a ticket, but he wasn't going to. Just make sure it doesn't happen again. Personally, I think the "I Love Cops" sticker I have on the back of my car helped a little bit...


      • #4
        Personally, I think the "I Love Cops" sticker I have on the back of my car helped a little bit...
        Hmm... Do you really love cops?

        He might have been waiting for your license plate info to come back, sometimes that takes a second or so.
        Last edited by Tennsix; 08-09-2005, 11:21 PM.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Tennsix
          Hmm... Do you really love cops?

          He might have been waiting for your license plate info to come back, sometimes that takes a second or so.
          I have always loved cops. My mom bought me that sticker when I was eleven years old. I was happy to get a car just so I could put the thing on there.

          Yeah, that is true. But by his attitude I don't think he meant to give me a ticket, just warn me. He didn't ask for registration, just my license. Asked me why I thought he pulled me over. Warned me. I told him thanks and to have a good night, and he told me to do the same. Our campus police are really cool guys. I've talked to a lot of them because our dorm had a problem with our fire alarms and they would go off pretty much every night around 1 am and several campus officers would come out. They would check the dorm to see that everyone got out, then one would try to turn off the alarm (which usually took them about 30 minutes) and the others would chill with us and chat.


          • #6
            As a police officer I have always told my friends that if they are ever pulled over, to stop immediately. However, listening to your scenario and picturing it I can appreciate you having concern for a well lit area. The greater the lighting the better it makes for the officer(s). As far as exiting the vehicle. I would not recommend ever exiting a vehicle. Not saying that you are, but a criminal never has a perfect description. Staying in the vehicle, turning on your interior light and placing your hands on the wheel is a comforting sight for police officers. I applaud your concern for the safety of the officers as well as yourself. Also, for not tying up potential vehicles that may use the road.


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