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What to do when you’re pulled over by police

Apr 21, 2017

What to do when you’re pulled over by police

When you see the flashing lights in your rear-view mirror and hear the daunting siren of a patrol car, it can be a stressful experience. Many questions will run through your mind. Did you do something wrong? It’s a stressful time. Here is what you need to do when you’re pulled over by the police:

1. Pull over

When it’s safe to do so, pull over and stop the car. You’ll know they want you to pull over when you see the blue lights on top of the vehicle flashing. Try your best not to panic. The police can stop you for any reason, so it’s best not to jump to conclusions.

2. Stay in your car

Once you pull over, turn your engine off and stay inside the car. Avoid the temptation to get out, as this may be mistaken as an attempt to escape. Wait for the police officer to approach you and roll down your window. It’s best not to say anything until you're told to do so. Be polite and respectful when speaking to the officer and try your best to remain as calm as possible.

3. Important documents

When you’re pulled over by the police, they can ask to see various documents and you must give it to them. This includes your driving licence, car insurance certificate and your MOT certificate. If you don’t have them with you, you’ll have one week to bring them to a police station.

4. Breath tests

If the police officer suspects you’ve been drinking, you may be asked to take a breath test. This may also be necessary if you’ve been pulled over for committing a traffic offence or if you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident. If you fail the test without a reasonable excuse, they have the authority to arrest you.

5. Motoring offences

One of the most common reasons people are pulled over by the police is for minor motoring offences. You may be given a fixed penalty notice, fined up to £200 or receive penalty points on your license. Such traffic offences include using a mobile while driving, forgetting to wear your seat belt, driving too close to another vehicle and careless driving. However, you might get lucky and be issued a warning instead of getting charged with an official offence. The best thing to do in either case is to respond calmly and don’t make the situation worse for yourself.


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