Why do police officer's stop people?
There are a variety of different reasons why you might be stopped by a Police Officer in the City of Rancho Cordova. Reasons might include:
- The Officer may think you are in trouble and need help
- You may have violated the rules of the road
- You vehicle might have a safety violation
- You may fit the description of a wanted suspect
- You may have been the witness of a crime.
California Vehicle Code Section 21806(a)(2)
“...Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle...the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to the right-hand edge or curb of the highway, clear of any intersection, and thereupon stop and remain stopped until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.”
With this in mind, there are things that you, as a law abiding citizen can do to help make the experience a more efficient, positive, and safe experience for both you and the Police Officer.
If you are stopped by a Police Officer while driving, you may feel confused, anxious, or even angry. These are natural feelings, but remember, traffic stops can also be stressful and dangerous for the Police Officer. Each year, a number of Law Enforcement Officers are killed or seriously injured while making the “routine” traffic stop.
If stopped by a Police Officer, please remember:
- When you see the red overhead lights and/or hear the siren, remain calm and pull safely over parallel to the right side of the road.
- Remain in your vehicle unless the Officer advises otherwise. Be sure the officer is wearing a police uniform. If not, keep your door locked and ask for credentials.
- Try to keep your hands where the Officer can see them. It’s a good idea to rest both hands on the steering wheel.
- Avoid any sudden movements, especially toward the floorboard, rear seat, or passenger side of the vehicle. The Officer might think you are reaching for a weapon or concealing some other object.
- Do not immediately reach for your license or other documents until the Officer requests them. California Law requires drivers to show their license, registration and insurance card to a peace officer upon request.
- If your documents are out of reach, tell the Officer where they are before you reach for them.
- If the stop occurs during darkness, the Officer will likely use a bright spotlight to illuminate your vehicle. You can help by turning on your interior lights so the Officer can see that everything is in order.
- If there are passengers in your vehicle, encourage them to remain quiet and cooperate with instructions. As the operator, you are solely responsible for your vehicle and its occupants.
- The Officer may issue you a ticket. If you feel the reason is vague or unclear, ask the Officer for details.
- If you contest the violation, you will have an opportunity to address the matter in court; do not argue with the Officer.
- Be honest with the Officer. If you really didn’t see the stop sign, or were unaware of the speed limit, let the Officer know. Being honest about any situation is the best approach.
- Many Departments use single-officer patrol cars, especially in the suburbs. It is normal to see two or three marked patrol cars on a routine traffic stop, especially at night. This is to ensure the Officer’s safety.
- Finally, if you receive a ticket, please accept it calmly. Signing it is not an admission of guilt; it’s only a promise to appear in court at a later time. State law mandates that if you refuse to sign the citation, you will be arrested.