What police want you to know when you’re stopped

During Saturday’s police symposium, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Terrence Carn and Capt. Jeffery Lindskoog held a question-and-answer session about how to interact with police during traffic stops. It was a blunt conversation that showed the officer’s perspective. Lindskoog, for example, said he personally didn’t want to give people traffic tickets because he knows the fees are high.

“Traffic fines in Florida have gotten so ridiculous, truly ridiculous, that I truly feel guilty striking a ticket for someone because the fine is onerous,” Lindskoog said.

For the best chance to avoid getting a ticket — and, more importantly, have a safe outcome — they had the following advice:

1. Stop. Do not flee.

2. If you have tinted windows, roll them down.

Members of the Boynton Beach police department hand out tickets to drivers that made an illegal right turn from the center lane of the southbound exit ramp at I-95 and Gateway Blvd. Monday, June 17, 2013 during rush hour. Cars in the center lane can only legally turn left at the light and head east over the overpass. The cars were trying to avoid waiting in a long line of traffic that was backed up in the turn lane to head west. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)
(Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)

If it’s night, turn on your car’s dome lights.

3. Put your hands on the steering wheel. Don’t reach for anything.

4. Provide your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance when asked.

5. Explain your movements before making them. Tell the officer you’ll be reaching into your glove box for your registration, for example.

6. After receiving your documents, the officer should say why you’ve been pulled over. If not, you can ask why you’ve been pulled over.

7. If you get a ticket, do not argue with the officer at the scene. Argue the ticket in court.

8. Sign your ticket. Refusing to sign your ticket can result in an arrest, according to Florida law.

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