What to Do If You Are Stopped

Traffic Stop Tips
The Kansas Highway Patrol offers the following tips for drivers when they encounter an emergency vehicle or are stopped for a traffic infraction:
  • Do not panic. Use your turn signal, and pull over to the right as far as possible, allowing other traffic to pass and an officer to safely walk to your vehicle.
  • If you are being pulled over, stop and turn off the ignition. If it is dark, turn on the interior light.
  • Keep your hands in plain view, and do not make any sudden movements. The officer does not know you or your intentions. Reaching for your insurance information in the glove box may look like you are reaching for something else.
  • Ask any passengers in your vehicle to remain calm and comply with the officer's instructions. Instruct them to keep their hands in plain view and not make any sudden movements.
  • Wait for the officer to park the patrol car and approach. He or she may ask for your driver's license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance. If you do not understand why you have been stopped, politely ask the officer.
  • If it is dark, the officer is likely to use a bright spotlight or flashlight to illuminate you and your vehicle.
  • Stay in your vehicle unless the officer asks you to get out. Most of the time, the entire exchange will occur without you having to leave your vehicle. However, court rulings permit the officer to decide whether you should step out of the vehicle. If you are asked to exit the vehicle, keep your hands in plain view and watch for traffic.
  • If you receive a traffic citation, a polite and cooperative attitude will make the event easier for everyone. Feel free to ask any questions, but a courtroom is the place to debate the issue, not the side of the road.
  • Once the traffic stop is finished, cautiously merge into the flow of traffic.
  • If you have concerns about the stop, feel free to contact the Patrol for more information about how traffic stops are conducted.