IF YOU SEE EMERGENCY LIGHTS:
Signal that you are going to pull over
and do so as soon as you can safely manage it.
Pull off the road as far as possible
toward the nearest right hand edge or into the nearest driveway or
parking lot. Even if you’re not being pulled over, you should always do
this so that the officer can easily go around you and get to where they
actually need to be.
IF YOU ARE BEING PULLED OVER AND A DEPUTY IS APPROACHING YOUR CAR:
Turn off the car and put on the emergency brake.
This shows the officer that you understand what’s going on and that
you’re not planning to run away. Turn on your flashers if necessary for
Turn on the dome light if
it’s dark out so the officer can see into your car.
Roll down the window enough
to pass documents and communicate clearly with the deputy.
Place your hands on the wheel.
All passengers should keep their hands visible through
Remain still. Any sudden
movement of the door or people in the car can make a deputy uneasy, so
tell passengers to also remain seated.
DURING THE TRAFFIC STOP:
Be polite and follow directions
at all times.
Tell the officer if you have weapons.
questions honestly and ask for an
explanation if something is unclear.
Tell the deputy in advance if you need to remove your
hands from the steering wheel for any
reason, such as to retrieve documents. Otherwise, keep your hands on
the steering wheel.
Legal searches. There are
instances where deputies can legally search your vehicle without your
permission. Otherwise, they may ask for your consent to search your
vehicle. Under those circumstances, you have the right to refuse, and
the officer will not be allowed to search your vehicle.
Do not exit the car at any
point unless the deputy asks you to do so.
WHY WAS I PULLED OVER?
Law enforcement officers may conduct a traffic stop any
time they have a reasonable suspicion that an occupant of the car is
committing or has committed a violation of the law. You should be
respectful and follow the directions given if you are pulled over, even
if you don’t agree with the reason for the stop; on the side of the road
is not the place to dispute the stop. You will have an opportunity to
tell your side of the story in court if you choose. Richland County
deputies are expected to be professional and courteous, but firm when
enforcing the law. If you are concerned by a deputy’s actions during the
stop, you should report it to the Sheriff’s Department so that the
Department and Citizen’s Advisory Council can review it.