Traffic Stops

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A Police Officer Stops Your Vehicle: What’s Next?

  • Stop your vehicle as far out of the lane of traffic as possible. Indicate to the officer that you are going to comply by using your turn signal.
  • Stay in your vehicle and turn on the interior light. Relax and remain in your vehicle. Unless you are directed to exit the vehicle by the officer, there is no reason to expose yourself to the dangers of traffic except when supervised by the officer.
  • Keep your hands in view, preferably on the steering wheel. Wait for the officer to request your license, registration, and proof of insurance.
  • Police officers are trained to be polite from the first point of contact. They will tell you their name and the reason for the stop. As the citizen being stopped, first, please provide the proper documentation to the officer. Then, give the officer a chance to explain the reason you were stopped in more detail. Presenting your documentation will simplify and speed the process. Remember, most often the officer is in uniform with a nametag displayed. You have the advantage of knowing with whom you are dealing. Extend the courtesy by presenting the required information without argument..
  • If you do not agree with the citation, or the officer’s demeanor, do not argue at the scene. All citizens have the right to question their citation before a judge. Every Police Department has an Internal Affairs system in place to investigate citizen complaints.

Carry Proper Identification

When driving a motor vehicle, you must have in your possession:

  • Your valid driver’s license
  • Proof of vehicle registration
  • Proof of current insurance for the vehicle 

It is the driver’s (not the owner’s) responsibility to be sure that the vehicle being driven is insured, that the proper documents are in the vehicle, and that it is in safe operating condition.

It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure that the person driving the vehicle possesses a valid driver’s license.

What Florida Law Says About Buckling Up

  • All front seat occupants must buckle up.
  • Each passenger of the vehicle under the age of 18 must be restrained by a safety belt or child restraint device while riding anywhere in the vehicle.