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Vehicle Stops
Many citizens drive motor vehicles without ever being pulled over by a police officer.  In the event that you are pulled over by an officer, the following information may help to make the stop safer for you and the officer. 

What You Need to Know
The State of Florida has enacted a variety of traffic laws and regulations to help ensure the safety of pedestrians and motorists traveling on the roads and highways within the State.  Enforcement of these laws can sometimes be stressful for motorists and officers. 

What should you do when an officer signals you to pull over
Pull your vehicle over as far to the right of the roadway as is safely possible.  If there is a safe, non-congested area, such as a parking lot, within a reasonable distance, pull off the road, stop and place your vehicle in park.  Being stopped at night, particularly along a dark stretch of road, can heighten the stress for motorists and officers.  Officers do not object to drivers proceeding to a nearby well-lit area.  Simply acknowledge the officer by turning on your turn signal and drive at a reduced speed.

When you stop

  • Turn off the vehicle's ignition.
  • If your windows are tinted, please lower them so the officer can see into the vehicle.
  • Turn on the vehicle's interior light if the stop occurs at night.
  • Some officers feel safer approaching a vehicle, while other officers will ask you to exit the vehicle.
  • Please stay in your vehicle unless the officer requests that you exit the vehicle.

If an officer approaches your vehicle

  • Keep your hands in plain view of the officer, this is easily accomplished by placing them on the steering wheel of the vehicle.
  • Avoid making any sudden or reaching movements.

Officer and Citizen Safety

  • Law enforcement can be dangerous work.
  • Officers must be cautious at all times.  
  • During the vast majority of vehicle stops, the officer has never seen or met the person who has been stopped.
  • Do not assume that the officer knows that you are a law abiding citizen. 
  • Officers will take the necessary precautions to make the vehicle stop safe for everyone. 

What will the officer request to see
The officer will need to see your driver's license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
If an officer requests you to exit the vehicle
Please exit the vehicle when it is safe to do so, and be careful of other motor vehicle traffic in the area.  Unless otherwise instructed by the officer, walk toward the rear of your vehicle and over to the curb or side of the road.  Do not stand between the vehicles.

The outcome of the traffic stop
Depending on the reason for the traffic stop, you may or may not be issued a traffic citation.  If you receive a citation, you will be advised of how you can pay the fine, or present your case to a judge.  Certain traffic violations require the violator to be arrested and taken to jail.

What happens after the stop
Once the business with the officer is finished, you should merge, with caution back onto the street.