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Tips in Case Police Pull You Over on the Road

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DWI Check Point and DrivingDepending on where you drive, you might be surprised at some of the reasons police might pull you over. As Criminal Justice Degrees Guide writes, if section 811.490(b) of Oregon state traffic laws were taken to its logical conclusions, “every single Oregonian with a car would at some point be a law-breaker.”

That’s because the law makes it a class D violation to leave a car door open longer than necessary to load or unload passengers. The site asks: “What about groceries? What about when you’re cleaning out your car at the gas station?”

In Derby, Kansas, police might stop and ticket you if your tires screech, whatever the reason. And the penalty can be as much as a $500 fine or 30 days in jail. Officials say the law exists to prevent drag racing.

Noise also figures in Section 13-53(a) of Rockville, Maryland’s municipal ordinance. It states that “[a] person may not profanely curse and swear or use obscene language upon or near any street, sidewalk or highway within the hearing of persons passing by, upon or along such street, sidewalk or highway.”

If you’re a camping enthusiast, be wary when choosing camp sites and camping vehicles in Wisconsin. In that state, if police find you camping in a wagon on public highways, they can fine you $10 and you can end up spending a month in jail, according to Section 86.025 of Wisconsin traffic law. If you have a hankering for a certain brand of donuts, be careful in South Berwick, Maine, Criminal Justice Degrees Guide warns, because you can get pulled over if you park within 25 feet south of the Main Street Dunkin Donuts.

And if you want to avoid problems with the police in Massachusetts, don’t have sex in the front seat of your cab while on the job. As Criminal Justice Degrees Guide advises:

Although you might get tapped for public indecency if you’re off the clock, it is straight up illegal for Massachusetts cab drivers to have a nooner in the front of their cabs if they’re on the clock. Instead of wondering precisely how or why this law got on the books, maybe just avoid the front seat of Massachusetts cabs.

Finally, if you are under the age of 10 in Canton, Ohio, and/or if you are able to fit into a Power Wheels car, you will be breaking the law to “go upon any roadway” if you’re on “roller skates or riding in or by means of any coaster, toy vehicle, skateboard or similar device.”

Meanwhile, after interviewing a retired Virginia State Trooper called “Trooper Tom” for AOL Autos, Kevin Ransom compiled the following tips for what to do when you are pulled over while driving:

  • Always pull over in a safe area, as soon as it is safe to do so. “Don’t pull over in a place that is going to put you or the officer in danger,” Trooper Tom says. “… [Y]ou don’t want to lock yourself into a ticket by making the officer mad.”
  • Pull over sooner rather than later. If you “coast” for several blocks, the officer is likely to think you are stalling in order to hide something.

Ransom writes:

Surprisingly, Police Officer Tom also advises you not to turn off your engine, especially if you’re driving an old beater that’s not reliable. ‘I generally didn’t like the citizen to turn off his engine, because if it’s an older car, it might not start again, and then you’re in a situation where you have to wait for the guy to call a buddy or call a wrecker, and he’s mad because you stopped him — I’d just as soon not have to negotiate all that,’ says the police officer.

  • Keep your hands on the wheel as the trooper or officer approaches your vehicle. As Ransom reports:

‘That’s how people kill you — with their hands,’ muses Police Officer Tom. ‘They can reach for a weapon or the gear shift, which can turn the car into a weapon. We always focus on the driver’s hands, and if they’re not on the wheel, we’re immediately more apprehensive, and that doesn’t help your situation if you’re the driver.’

  • Always stay in the car. “I don’t care if you’re the baddest officer there is,” Trooper Tom told Ransom. “There’s always someone out there who’s badder than you, and if we can keep them inside the car, that’s the best way to keep [us] from being injured.”
  • Although you don’t need to be polite, whatever you do, don’t get physical with an officer of the law.

Image by Mike “Dakinewavamon” Kline (Mike Kline), used under its Creative Commons license.

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