Nobody likes to get pulled over, and hopefully you'll never need these, but with the busiest time of the year for traffic upon us and police on high alert over Thanksgiving weekend, I thought that this would be a perfect time to share some tips about how to make a traffic stop less stressful directly from a cop.

My friend Justin has been a police officer for around 15 years. Once again, he was kind enough to take some time to pass along some input from the other side of the flashing lights.

Here are his tips to make traffic stops go as quickly and painlessly as possible...


Traffic stops are stressful for everyone involved, and while I don't have the magic excuse that will get you out of that ticket, I can give you three simple rules to follow that will help make that stop a little less stressful, and also safer for you, the officer and the other motorists on the road.

  • Move to the right

It still amazes me when a motorist stops dead in the middle of the lane of travel or moves to the left shoulder of a highway when I turn on my cruiser's emergency lights.

  • Wow is that dangerous! 

Whether that officer is stopping you or not, when you see those flashy lights and/or hear that siren, safely move your vehicle to the right.

If that officer stays behind you, it's time to find a safe place to stop.

  • Stay in your vehicle

Unless the officer asks you to step out, please do not get out of your vehicle.

A quick visit to YouTube and you'll find multiple videos of motorists hitting police cruisers and officers who have stopped a vehicle.

Traffic stops are still the most dangerous thing that we do and the last thing that we want is for someone to get hurt by an inattentive passing motorist.

  • Let's argue... in court

Not that I don't love a good debate, but arguing over a ticket on the side of a 4 lane highway is simply not the place to do it.

What's awesome is that there is a place to do that, and it's a whole lot safer (and often more productive).

Whether you truly feel that you are not guilty of the offense that you were cited for, or are just interested in looking for some leniency, traffic court is the place to go.

While I can't speak for other officers or their department's policies, personally I'm happy to speak with a driver or their attorney at traffic court, especially if they followed all three of these rules.

Arguing roadside only prolongs the stop, and believe me, we both want to be on our respective ways.

Could I give you a dozen more things that you could both do and not do to make that dreaded traffic stop just a little bit less miserable?
Sure, but those really are the big three for me.

So while I hope that you never have to use them, keeping these tips in mind if you are pulled over can make that stop go as quickly and smoothly as possible.

You'll be back on the road and going about your day before you know it (while doing the speed limit, of course).


My thanks again to Justin, both for taking the time to share his thoughts and for doing what he does to keep the public safe every single day.

In case you missed Justin's previous contribution, just click here to read about the 3 simple things that could literally save your life.

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