If you’re driving down the highway on any given day, chances are you’ve seen a car pulled over by law enforcement. Law enforcement officers say traffic stops are one of the most dangerous police encounters.
Officer Brandon Hauck of the Mandan Police Department said, “On a slower day, we usually do 4 to 6 [traffic stops] on average, that’s just me personally.”
2019 FBI statistics show 1 in 8 officers were feloniously killed happened during a traffic stop.
“We can’t see with window tint, the vehicle occupants or if there’s any weapons or anything of that sort. So they can be very threatening on our initial approach,” said Hauck
Traffic stops can also lead to other findings.
Hauck said, “We find a lot of drugs within our traffic stops. That stuff gets more into our intradiction. Also warrants. That’s another thing we’re looking for. If the driver or the passenger of the vehicle has warrants. Also, our criminal traffic. So our driving under suspension, driving under revocation, or driving under the influence of alcohol.”
Officer Hauck also explained the best course of action to take when you are pulled over.
“So they see our lights, they pull off safely to the right side of the road. We approach, we like the driver, just keep your hands on that steering wheel,” said Hauck
First, when seeing the flashing lights in the rearview mirror, make sure to signal and pull safely off the road.
Officers say it’s best to keep your hands visible until instructed to reach for your paperwork.
Hauck said, “We collect the driver’s license, registration, proof of insurance. We return back to our car. We check to make sure the insurance is indeed valid, and that it is a good insurance that they give us. At that time, we have a dispatcher. We ask our dispatcher to check our driver.”
What if you disagree with the reason for the traffic stop?
“We have instructions on the back of the envelope that tell them how to do this. We don’t argue on the side of the road. Of course, it’s dangerous, we got traffic driving by us,” said Hauck
These steps will keep both you and the law enforcement officer safe.