PULLED OVER BY POLICE UK: This page explains the best steps to take against the police procedure when pulling someone over.
What happens next once you have been pulled over by police in the United Kingdom?
There are 5 basic things you should do as part of a routine police pull over procedure. Motorists often wonder whether they should stay in their car or get out.
Some drivers have concerns about being sure it is a genuine policeman. How can you be sure it is not a fake copper pulling you over?
Follow these 5 basic steps checklist as part of your rights when pulled over by police in the United Kingdom.
1. You Must Pull Over When it is Safe to Do So
You must pull your vehicle to the side of the road any time a police car with blue flashing lights indicates you to stop. There is no need to panic or slam on your brakes. Instead, assess the situation calmly and then stop your vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so.
There will be no confusion if the police officers inside the patrol car want you to pull over and stop. Their gestures and actions will make it clear where to pull over for police.
As a rule, police officers use their car indicators and hands to point to the left side of the road (United Kingdom).
2. You Should Stay Inside Your Car
There are many motorists who think you must exit the vehicle when pulled over by the police. In fact the best advice is to stay seated inside the car.
Police pull over laws allow you to roll down the window and switch on the interior light if it is dark outside.
The police officers will be cautious about you making a sudden run for it and try to escape.
By staying where you are and turning off your engine they will believe you are going to follow their requests.
Turning on the cabin light and rolling down the window also suggests that you are not trying to conceal any evidence or hide a weapon.
Being stopped by police while driving is a difficult procedure for you and them to deal with. In fact, traffic stops are the second most dangerous situation police officers handle on a regular basis. Household quarrels and domestic incidents are the most dangerous.
3. Being Polite Will Help
Police officers have a job to perform – and they are human too. Being rude and aggressive is likely to exacerbate the situation. Try to be polite and respectful during the police pull over procedure.
After all, your traffic stop might not mean that you are in deep trouble. It could be that they pulled you over to inform you that your car has a blown brake light bulb.
Some people tend to keep their answers short to avoid incriminating themselves. But, by being open and honest, or apologising where necessary, it often has a better result.
Police officers hate unnecessary work the same as most ordinary folk do. In most cases they would rather let you off with a stiff warning than write a full time-consuming ticket.
It is often better to say as little as possible if you get cautioned or prosecuted. There is a better place to argue your point and that is in a courtroom, not at the roadside. Having an argument with police officers is most unlikely to improve a bad situation.
You should always give your full name and correct address if they ask for it. The police can arrest you if you don’t give them that information.
4. Be Mindful of Police Imposters
It is wise to be mindful of police impostors and you should always play it safe if you have any doubts. Police forces do sometimes use unmarked vehicles. But, the officers must be wearing full uniform if they pull you over in an unmarked police car. That said, you might still be wary of whether it is a genuine police vehicle anyway.
The experts suggest slowing down but continuing on your way if you are unsure. Putting on your hazard warning lights or indicators could let them know that you have acknowledge they are there. Try to make them know you are not racing away from the scene to avoid them.
Another suggestion is to get a passenger to phone the police. They could inform them what is happening. But, you should pull into the first petrol station you see if you do not have any passengers to make the call.
As a rule petrol stations deter police imposters because they are well lit areas. They often have CCTV cameras installed and there is usually a lot of people around.
It is best not to open your car window when you have stopped and they approach. You can ask to see their police warrant card before you engage further in the situation.
Note: Genuine police officers and personnel will always understand drivers’ nervousness in situations where they may be in doubt.
5. Before You Leave the Scene
The majority if motorists will be a little shaky after a being pulled over by traffic police. So it is prudent to take a moment to calm down and compose yourself before you continue on your way.