Ask a cop: What should I do when stopped by the police?

“Ask A Cop” is an ongoing collaboration between The Daily Courier and the Prescott Police Department. (Courier file photo)

“Ask A Cop” is an ongoing collaboration between The Daily Courier and the Prescott Police Department. (Courier file photo)

No one wants to be stopped by the police, but sometimes it is necessary. You may feel anxious, confused or even angry. There are things that you, as the law-abiding citizen, can do to help lessen the possible unpleasantness of the experience.

Arizona traffic law requires that all drivers shall yield the right of way to emergency vehicles. When you see the red overhead lights and/or hear the siren, remain calm and immediately pull over to the right side of the road as safely as possible.

Remain in your vehicle unless the officer advises otherwise. Keep your hands on the steering wheel so the officer can see them. Avoid sudden movements, especially toward the floorboard, rear seat or passenger side of the vehicle. Do not immediately reach for your license or other required documents until the officer requests them. If you have a weapon in the vehicle, promptly notify the officer of its location.

If the traffic stop occurs at night, turn on your interior lights so the officer can easily see the interior of your vehicle. If the traffic stop results in a ticket, please do not become argumentative. The officer will explain the violation and you will have the opportunity to address the matter in court.

Traffic stops can be stressful and dangerous for police officers. Our goal is to always make sure our citizens and our officers get home safely at the end of each day.

“Ask A Cop” is an ongoing collaboration between The Daily Courier and the Prescott Police Department. If you have a question for the police, email amy.sloane@prescott-az.gov.

Donate Report a Typo Contact
Most Read
Event Calendar
Event Calendar link
Submit Event