Most of us are aware that there is a lot of tension in the Law Enforcement sector these days in Charlotte and across the state, and nowhere is that more evident than in traffic stops. Whether it’s simply from misunderstandings about what a driver should, and shouldn’t, do, there seems to be very little that is “routine” when it comes to a routine traffic stop.
What if we all knew exactly how we should behave during a traffic stop and what to expect from the officer? It seems that getting everyone on the same page would put drivers and officers a little more at ease and relieve some of that all-too-frequent tension.
In North Carolina, the General Assembly thinks these “misunderstandings” need some clarification. The Assembly has ordered the Division of Motor Vehicles to revise its guidelines concerning traffic stops and to include those revisions in the driver’s education courses taught to high schoolers. A sponsor of the bill, Rep. Ken Goodman,
says the revisions are needed to prevent misunderstandings that can turn a speeding ticket or other traffic violation into a confrontation.
“I thought, ‘People just don’t know what you’re supposed to do,’” said Goodman, a Democrat from Rockingham, North Carolina. “I just think that it could save lives of drivers or police officers or both.”
While common sense would seem to dictate how a driver should behave when they get pulled over, such as keeping their hands in plain sight, complying with requests, and other behaviors, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Spelling out how drivers, and officers, should act in these situations should go a long way towards minimizing confusion. The new guidelines are designed to clarify not only how a driver should respond, but also what to expect from law enforcement and why.
The new guidelines will be included in the latest edition of the handbook that will be available on the DMV’s website and in driver’s license offices across North Carolina.
Till then, if you get pulled over, resist the temptation to immediately grab your registration from the glovebox, just wait until the officer asks. Drivers will find this, and other recommendations, in the new guidelines. And if you get a traffic ticket, the Law Firm of Jason Reece is one of the most respected and knowledgeable traffic attorney firms in Charlotte and can help you with any number of “routine” traffic stops.