What to Do and What Not to Do When Pulled Over | Penney Auto Body & Glass Vancouver

What to Do and What Not to Do When Pulled Over | Penney Auto Body & Glass Vancouver

Each time you get behind the wheel of your car, you’re always aware, whether consciously or subconsciously, that there’s a cop on the road with you. They're driving the same roads you are to ensure that all motorists are driving in a safe and orderly manner.

Police officers have dedicated themselves to ensure the public's safety and they may not enjoy pulling someone over for a traffic stop. It is, however, part of their job and it is one of the most dangerous assignments they perform.

When an officer asks you to do something during a traffic stop, it’s usually to ensure either their own safety or yours. So it is important that you understand that traffic stops are a safety necessity and that there are things that you should do and things that you should NOT do if you are ever pulled over.


Pull over to a safe area. The police officer will need to stop behind you and approach your car, so make sure you pull into an area that gives the officer enough room to move safely. You may need to put on your hazard lights and slow down a little in order to pull over to a safe area. 

Stay in the car. Don't ever get out of your car because it is seen as a threatening action. If you do exit your car, the officer's first instinct is to get defensive and may even reach for his/her gun. Stay in your vehicle and wait for the officer to approach you unless you're told otherwise.

Turn the car's engine off. If your engine is on as the officer approaches, you may be considered a flight risk. Shut your engine down to keep the situation low-key and hassle-free. 

Stay visible. Ensure you are as visible as possible. Roll your window down before the officer approaches you. Keep your hands on the steering wheel unless you’re requested to get something for the officer. If you're reaching for your license or insurance papers, tell the police officer what you're doing to prevent any misunderstanding.

Remain calm and listen to the officer. If you’re calm and listen to the police officer, there’s less likelihood the officer will have any reason to feel threatened by you and the traffic stop will go smoothly.


Don’t argue with the officer. If you’ve been cited for going over the posted speed limit, you’re not going to change the officer’s mind by refuting it in person. You'll appear combative and will make the officer respond in a similar manner.

Don’t panic. Traffic stops are a regular part of an officer’s day and are there to keep you and the rest of the general public safe. If you're pulled over, it could be as simple as a failure to signal while turning. A traffic stop is nothing to lose your cool over.

Don’t joke around. Feel free to be friendly and lighthearted to the officer, but do your best to not show a lack of respect for their role in public safety.

emember, an officer’s role is to ensure the public’s safety, and that includes both your safety and their own. A police officer does not want to get into an argument or physical altercation, and they never want a traffic stop to escalate. Help them as much as you can by respecting what they do and making their job a little easier.

Penney Auto Body & Glass, Vancouver’s Auto Body Collision Repair Shop, is an expert in paint and body repair and cares about the welfare of your car and your personal safety. If you get involved in an automotive accident or you're a victim of a vehicle break-in or theft be sure to contact Penney Auto Body for your auto body, collision repair, and car painting services.


Contact Info


8225 Main St Vancouver

Opening Hours

Mon. - Fri. 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Sat. 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM