Pull over as soon as possible. As soon as you think that you might be the motorist who the squad car is after, pull over. Quickly pulling over demonstrates that you have respect for the right-of-way of emergency vehicles. It does not mean that you are admitting guilt!
Pull over to the right. Always pull over on the right side of the road when traveling on divided highways. Signal and move over to the far right lane, and then to the shoulder. Choose a section of roadway that has a full shoulder, without guardrails, if possible.
Know the location of your paperwork. When a police officer pulls you over, he/she will ask for your license, registration and insurance. Know the location of your paperwork, so you can quickly retrieve the requested documents.
Make the police officer feel safe. Stay in the car. If you are stopped at night, turn on your dome light. Always keep your hands in plain sight. Don’t make any sudden movements. Don’t create the impression that the officer must fear for her/his safety.
Let the police officer talk first. Do not volunteer information that could incriminate you. Keep calm, even if you are upset about the traffic stop. The police officer may not be pulling you over for what you think he/she is. Let him/her talk to you first. React kindly and you may have more of a chance to be sent on your way without a ticket.
Don’t argue! Challenging the police officer is a recipe for disaster. If you argue, you may receive more tickets, and the prosecutor will be less likely to negotiate in Court. If you are issued a ticket and wish to contest it, set a date in Court.
Finally: Being calm, courteous and demonstrating respect for the law and the police officer can go a long ways towards preventing an unpleasant experience from becoming worse. The police officer may pull you over for something as simple as a broken headlight, or for something more serious such as a DUI, or even an outstanding warrant. Whatever the reason, it is helpful to be familiar with local and state laws and regulations. Please visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com to learn more about the many laws governing the operation of motor vehicles on Illinois roadways.