Ask a Trooper

Posted: Monday, February 05, 2001

Question: Can you please explain what I should do if I get pulled over?

Answer: Begin by pulling to the right immediately, for two reasons. First, it might not be you that I am trying to pull over, and if you pull over to the right, I know you see me and I can safely begin to pass you on the left. Second, if you don't pull over right away and it is you I am trying to stop, I am likely to think that you are about to try and elude me. Once you have pulled over to the right, you can stop if it is safe. However, if you are on a curve, in front of a driveway, next to a guardrail, etc. you can continue slowly down the highway on the shoulder until you get to a safe area. (Remember it should be safe for you and for me, so don't stop just past a driveway or side road so I end up blocking it.) If it is dark outside and there is good lighting just ahead, feel free to continue until you are in better light. Once you do decide to stop, make sure you are as far to the right as you can be so we block as little traffic as possible.

After you have stopped, stay in your car, keep your hands visible, sit still and tell your passengers to do the same. You may think that you're saving time by digging your registration out of your glove compartment, but I don't know that you're not digging for a gun, and seeing people move frantically during a traffic stop could cause me to react in a way you hadn't anticipated.

If it is dark out, turn on all of your interior lights. The more I can see, the faster I can deal with the business at hand and get you on your way. Now let's hope you never have to use these guidelines.

If you have questions that you would like to ask a trooper, please send them to: Alaska State Troopers, 4060 Heath St., Homer, AK 99603. Or you can e-mail them to The Alaska State Troopers remind you to always wear your seat belt. It's the law.

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