Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol

Discussion in 'Articles' started by xcel, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Wayne Gerdes - - February 26, 2006

    Hi All:

    ___Although the following article is not exactly what CleanMPG’s mission is about, I felt it might be helpful for the newer drivers amongst us …

    ___I recently read of a hybrid driver being pulled over by the California Highway Patrol for not having the HOV lane stickers even though he did. I recently heard from a friend who panicked and attempted to evade police in his early driving days. Not only did it cost him a fortune, he totaled his car in the accident afterwards. I have friends that are EMS personnel and have seen members of their own district hit and killed by a driver evading police. There are many horrific accidents caused around the country by someone who simply panicked when being hailed to pull over by a State Trooper. Who hasn’t been pulled over or even driven past a state trooper at one point or another and felt a sense of dread let alone panic when the officers lights are lit up ... With that, I visited a Wisconsin State Patrol office a few miles to the north of me and picked up a brochure I thought was well written as to what to expect.

    Wisconsin State Patrol
    Guidelines for motorists who are pulled stopped by the State Patrol.


    Your Rights & Responsibilities


    State patrol officers are highly skilled professionals who are trained to treat all motorists with respect and courtesy even under difficult and dangerous conditions.

    Please remember that if you are cooperative and calm, a traffic stop will be less stressful and time consuming for you. Hare are some frequently asked questions about traffic stop procedures.

    Q: Why do officers shine their lights into a car when stopping someone at night?
    A: As a safety precaution at night, officers need to see what is inside the car.

    Q: Why do officers sit in their car so long?
    A: Using advanced communications technology, officers check your driving status and vehicle registration directly form their patrol cars. However, there may be some delays in transmission. Officers also must complete information regarding the traffic stop, which takes time. Please be patient.

    Q: Why do other officers show up if I’ve been stopped only for a traffic violation?
    A: Officers may back each other up (even when they are not requested) as an added safety procedure and as a courtesy to fellow officers.

    Q: Are officers required by law to show me the reading on a radar or laser device?
    A: No. In many cases, the officer does not lock in the radar or laser reading when identifying the vehicle and tracking its speed.

    Q: Why are most State Patrol cars outfitted with video cameras?
    A: Video cameras are a great tool to accurately and impartially record what happens during traffic stops and other enforcement events including the actions of the officers.

    Q: Do State Patrol officers have a quota for issuing citations?
    A: State Patrol officers absolutely do not have a quota for issuing citations. Furthermore, the State Patrol does not receive revenue from traffic citations. Most of the revenue generated by traffic goes to the county where the citation was issued and the states common school fund. Other citation assessments and fees help finance various state and country court and legal functions.

    Q: I received a traffic citation and wish to contest it. What should I do?
    A: You should follow the instructions listed on the citation. The State Patrol cannot reduce the forfeiture amount, lower the demerit, or dismiss the citation once it is issued.

    Law Enforcement Profiling

    “Profiling” by law enforcement officers means stopping motorists based on their race, color, or ethnicity instead of any observed violation of the law. The Wisconsin State Patrol does not tolerate racial profiling. It is against the law.

    Through effective selection, education and training of its officers, the State Patrol has earned the trust of the citizens we serve regardless of their race, color, or ethnicity. To maintain our high standards of fairness and professionalism, the State Patrol is vigilant in preventing any form of racial profiling.

    If you sincerely believe that you have been treated unfairly by a State Patrol officer because of your race, color, or ethnicity:
    • You may contact the State Patrol district office listed on the back of this pamphlet. Please contact the district office as soon as possible after the stop.
    • You should retain any documents you have been issued and give a detailed statement of your concerns to the district office.
    Please remember that if you make a false report, you may be charged with a crime. (s.946.66(2), Wisconsin Statutes.

    The goal of the State Patrol is to improve highway safety through education, voluntary compliance, and enforcement.

    Get to your destination safely …


    • Make sure all occupants are buckled up at all times. Children under the age of 4 must be in a child seat.
    • Don’t drink and drive More then 40% of all fatal crashes are alcohol related. If you drink, use a designated driver.
    • Obey posted speed limits. Speeding tickets are expensive and may increase your insurance rates.
    • If you see a law enforcement or emergency services vehicle on the shoulder with its lights flashing, move over a lane on a multiple-lane road (if you can safely do so) or slow down to provide a “Safe Zone” that protects the officer or emergency services worker. On a 2-lane road, slow down to provide a “safe zone”.
    • Minimize distractions when you’re behind the wheel. Cellular phones and other devices make it hard to concentrate on driving.
    Our Mission

    To promote highway and public safety and to enhance the quality of life for all Wisconsin citizens and visitors by providing and supporting professional, competent and compassionate law enforcement services.

    Our Vision

    People serving people with dignity and respect … enhancing a quality highway safety environment.

    The Wisconsin State Patrol is a division of the department of transportation.

    In Memoriam:

    Trooper Deborah M. McMenamin

    Trooper McMenamin was killed October 26, 1989 when she was struck by a passing motorist while talking to a motorist she had stopped for a traffic violation. She had talked with the driver and was returning to her squad car when she was hit. Despite the efforts of several officers and nurses who were at the scene, Trooper McMenamin did not survive. She attended the State Patrol Academy in 1985 and started as a trooper in the Waukesha District. She later transferred to the Tomah area and then to the Eau Claire area. Trooper McMenamin was 31 years old at the time of her death. She was married (her husband is an Executive Officer in State Patrol) and had a son from a previous marriage.

    Trooper William Schoenberger

    Trooper Schoenberger died April 22, 1993 from head injuries sustained on April 17, 1993 when his squad car was struck from behind by a semi-tractor trailer. Trooper Schoenberger was on the scene of a car fire at the time and had positioned his car in the traffic lane to protect fire department personnel. Trooper Schoenberger joined the Wisconsin State Patrol in 1984, and spent all of his 8-1/2 years in the Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls area. At the time of his death, he was 31 years old and was married with one daughter.

    ___God Speed to those officers who have lost their lives during the performance of their duties …

    ___Good Luck

    Last edited: Jul 27, 2006
  2. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    OK so thats pretty much how all law enforcment agencys approach there abliity to act like Nazi Storm Troopers in most of there contact with the public. They think there special and have laws promoteing your guilty until you prove your inocent. Try putting your video camera on them while they film you. They get really nasty real fast. They dont answer questions. And yes Ive asked for the radar spot... They claim they dont have to show you. hence,, so in the long run I havent had a ticket since 27 years of age. You have to stand up to these cops and be willing to take afew lumps. I have no love for law enforcement. I truley have no need for them. Not once have they recoverd something stolen from me. Caught anybody that has vansalized my car or home. Or tried to steal a car from me. I have friends that went into law enforcement as adults only to have to quit when the true reality of there choice came up to be a big lie. And the dead reckoning of there choice had basicly ruined there life.

    If your pulled over for something you truley did wrong,,, take your pusniment and move on. I have. But if your pulled over for something you didnt do. Fight them tooth and nail and make darn sure you drag them into court.
  3. tbaleno

    tbaleno Well-Known Member

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    I have been pulled over numerous times. I am always courtious because they are doing their job. Rarely do they give me a ticket. Maybe they feel relief that I am not going to be one of the combatative ones.

    I highly recomend being courteous. It works wonders. What reason do they have to not give you a ticket if you are combatative?

    Psyshack. Police aren't robots made in some secret lab. They are people doing a job and have friends and family like you and I. They just want to put in a days work and go home.

    How would you feel if you were at work and a majority of your interactions with people were hostile? I think sometimes you might get a little annoyed and immediatly think the worst of them. I don't think its any different for police. So lighten up be nice to them and you might find that they can be nice back.
  4. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    I've also been pulled over a number of times, but only a couple of times they were abrasive. One time I passed a busy cop and honestly did not know he was pulling me over or that I went straight in a right turn lane. The other I was threatened with a ticket before I could say I was seeing the doctor for my vertigo - he must have assumed I was drunk. :(

    The vast majority of the time I was clearly guilty of speeding or some other offense.
  5. tigerhonaker

    tigerhonaker Platinum Contributor

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    Well, here's my 2-cents;

    I am taking the (Nice) way with them myself. I just try to keep in mind how I would feel if I was in their shoes. Not a very fun job/career to be in.

    Anyone else been in the Military? I was an went to Viet Nam and did as I was told to do. Now you may be thinking? What has this got to do with the State Police article? The public judged us and we were doing what we were told to do. The same for the Law Enforcement personnel, they do as they are directed and no matter which way they do it, they are viewed by many in an unkind way. The same as myself and others that were sent to Viet Nam and came back to the USA. Not exactly what I would call a Very Warm Friendly Welcome.

    So I will give the other guy a Brake and be Nice. :)
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2006
  6. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    Could you get upset with this guy?
  7. tigerhonaker

    tigerhonaker Platinum Contributor

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    Your alright. :) We were just discussing him today at the office.


    Thanks, for the Link :cool:
  8. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    I drove thru this crime sence this week after a Arkansas State Trooper shot a guy for not showing his hands. No pepper spray was used, no other tatics where used. State Trooper just basicly point blank shot him with a shot gun. he was mentaly ill. they where looking for a escape from Michigan. This wasnt him.

    This is the guy they where after. He had thrown down his gun when he ran into the Wal-Mart. They naturaly shot him also.

    What to do in Arkansas? Hope your guns bigger and fires faster than the cops weapons.
  9. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    What if You Were That Trooper?

    I'm not about to give law enforcement a carte blache for everything they do - one pullover I experienced was questionable. I will ask: "what if it was you pulling over" a driver that looked like he was violent and unresponsive?" Don't assume the story gives the complete picture. Yes, he might have been better off getting another trooper, etc....but he had only seconds to make a decision. A case could be made for allowing this suspect to drive. As far as I'm concerned, there are a lot of sane people with normal IQs that drive so poorly their licenses should be removed until they get their act together.

    Consider that a law enforcement career does not last too long if you shoot many suspects without good reason.
  10. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    I don't have a problem with the law enforcement community, as they have never given me any problems. Not always helpful, but so far never harmful, either. In fact, I can't even count the number of times I have been clocked up to 10mph over the limit and ignored for whatever reason. (I've never been a "slow" driver on the highway and hope to kick that bad habit.)

    What I do have a problem with is the system of putting drivers on the road after a largely insufficient education and then depending on the police to devote large quantities of time to fining us into submission. I always hear that "speed kills" and I grant that it plays a role in far too many accidents. But is speed really the route cause of the accident? No. It is poor decision making. I really wish that we would find a way to help drivers set higher standards for themselves.
  11. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    Just a ballpark guess, but I may have been pulled over and issued a ticket as many as 15 times in my life for a moving violation. :eek: That only once I thought they were less than professional is a pretty good record.

    BTW, all but a couple of those tickets were back in the 1900's....
  12. johnf514

    johnf514 Zoom? Try Glide!

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    Had to reiterate this. Excellent advice, and while being pulled over isn't the most pleasant experience (delaying your driving, public humiliation, decreasing your MPG ;) ) it is the officer's job to do so. Rarely is someone pulled over without a reason, and when it happens, usually you've heard about it from the individual that was stopped and feels wronged by the police.

    I too have been pulled over several and only received 3 tickets, all three of which were deserved. The other (4-5) times, I was polite and always respectful to the officer. Once I handed the cop an umbrella, as it was raining. I got a verbal warning that time. :p

    As you are being pulled over, be mindful of where you do it. First, always acknowledge the officer with either a blinker, slowing down, or some signal. Then, even if you have to travel a bit, attempt to get off the main road. If you are on a highway, the shoulder may be your only option. Get over as far as possible. However, if you are on surface streets, find a sidestreet, parking lot, etc. I watched a pickup truck pull over in the right lane of a 4-lane road a week ago (no shoulder, curb, sidestreet less than 100 ft. away) and completely block up traffic. That's no good, and will probably irritate the officer or make them request that you move.

    Always let the officer know what you are doing. Gentlemen, if you are going for your wallet, tell the officer what you are doing, only use one hand, and move slowly. Remember, the officer cannot see what you are doing, and slow, defined movements allow them to observe that you are, in fact, not drawing a firearm on them. Same goes for the glove box, anything under a seat, etc.

    Chat with them! Honestly, they're people as well, and can be quite friendly. Another cop who pulled me over noticed I was a student of the same college his son had applied to by my parking sticker. We talked for about 10 minutes about it, afterwards, he just told me to "slow down a bit."

    All of these tickets were in my youth, at 21, I haven't been pulled over in years, due to rising gas prices causing me to slow down my driving. I guess my best advice? Keep it to 5 over! You'll save gas, ticket costs, and other various unforeseen costs of high speed and aggressive driving.

    Then again, I guess I'm preaching to the choir here. :D
  13. tigerhonaker

    tigerhonaker Platinum Contributor

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.


    Hello and you may be roght in (Your) statement? Then again, I guess I'm preaching to the choir here.

    Hey it's great reading though and I'll give you this. It even makes good sense. :D
  14. jcp123

    jcp123 Caliente!

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    For some reason, I always get jittery, nervous, and excited when I get pulled. Couldn't tell you why. Hasn't gotten my searched yet, but I'm sure it will someday.

    BTW, only been pulled thrice, never gotten a moving violation. Came out of them with two fix-it tickets and a verbal warning. Considering the first two times were in Mustangs I'm surprised I got off so lightly.

    Actually, I'm surprised I dodn't get pulled more often...cops used to pull u-turns and hang out on my fender WAITING for me to do something wrong. Can't blame them, wouldn't you look long and hard at a teenager in a loud '68 Mustang?

    But, I do know that cops here in Texas as well as Oklahoma and Kansas target folks driving at or under the speed limit. Apparently there's a major drug corridor there, and drug smugglers like to do the limit to keep under the radar...
  15. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Banned

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    Wow, you guys have been pulled over a lot!

    I've only been pulled over once, by a state trooper on the last day of November 2001, for "reckless driving". The officer didn't believe that my ID was mine, and kept asking me my country of origin. Seriously, it took over half an hour before he got back to me with my drivers license after taking it. He quized me several times on my address, and where I grew up and on my parents identities.

    I'm rather certain he was racial profiling, as he was sure I was from the middle east. (Also, my license didn't have my beard that I had grown that year.)

    I was polite, courteous, and did everything he requested. I fought the ticket, and he didn't bother to show, so it was dismissed.

    Somewhat annoyingly, the officer didn't show, so they went to recess to allow him a chance to show up. Over an hour later, they reconviened and dissmissed me. I had a written account of everything from when I had gotten home that night, printed out, along with a map showing the area were I was pulled over, a printout of the weather conditions, and was in a suit and tie, with a trenchcoat. Oddly enough, I was the only Defendant there in traffic court who had dressed as such, or had brought anything with them. So much for speedy and unbiased. I was pleased that I was let go, but annoyed that it seemed that they did everything possible to give the officer a lot of leeway, despite everything from the ticket to the writing on the doors states that "Failure on any parties behalf to show results in an immediate verdict."

    Bah. Hopefully that'll be the last time too.
  16. lightfoot

    lightfoot Reformed speeder

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    I certainly don't get stopped often but when I do I make sure to put both hands on top of the wheel where the officer can see them and I just sit there. And try to be as calm as I can. They can check out the plate but they don't know who is driving, so it must be a nervous time for them. I figure a relaxed cop is more likely to give me a break. I seem to get more warnings than tickets.

    The few times I've been pulled over on my motorcycle it's been interesting to see the surprise on their faces when I pull off my helmet and they see a gray-haired guy, not a young sportbike dude. Got pulled over twice in Japan when I was riding there [I was not misbehaving that much: once was for 60kph in a 30kph=18mph=nearly-falling-over zone and once for a routine license check] and it was even more amusing to see their surprise at seeing a gaijin emerge.

    Got three (!) tickets on my bicycle in my racing days. For running stop signs and lights (of course we looked both ways beforehand!). OTOH the Pasadena police didn't even look up from their coffee and newspapers when we ran the stop signs on our regular circuit around the Rose Bowl - even when motor pacing behind a scooter.

    When I have gotten tickets I definitely deserved them so I guess I've been lucky in that sense.
  17. PennStateForever

    PennStateForever New Member

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    I've only been pulled over once; I was traveling FAR over the speed limit, so I definitely deserved it. I was very polite to the police officer, and she told me that I should contest the ticket (since she wasn't going to just give me a warning, given the severity of the incident).

    Went to court, and there she lowered it to "10 mph over the limit". Saved me from losing my driver's license for a year. If I'd have been combative on the scene there's no way that would've happened.

    Another good experience with police:

    I sometimes ride my bicycle to work when there's nice weather (infinite miles per gallon). One day during my ride a car started to tailgate me and blast its horn. I made a left turn, and got into the shoulder of the road; the car pulled up alongside me and the occupants rolled down the windows and were shouting various things at me. They pulled away to get onto I-95 South, and within 30 seconds a local police car pulled them over.

    It's definitely good to have the cops show up when you need them.
  18. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    I have no respect for Ohio Highway Patrol or Union Township (it's a small town on the east side of Cincinnati) cops. Myself and two buddies, we are outside this club, and they won't let us to use the toilets without paying. So the hell with it, we decide to go in the woods at the end of the parking lot. 2 in the morning, with nobody around, bam! Union Township cops. We tried being polite. No dice. All of us were written up on trumped up charges - disorderly conduct and indecent exposure. (Geez, it was 2 in the morning with nobody else around. Cut a man a break?)

    No dice. All of us got dinged $250 a piece plus court costs (We all challenged, and lost.) They sure got their quotas.

    And Ohio Highway Patrol: Driving through the Buckeye State on I-71 is like trotting the treadmill of boredom. No matter how far or how fast you go, the scenery never changes: Barn, corn, cop. Barn, corn, cop.
  19. yi5hedr3

    yi5hedr3 Well-Known Member

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    Yep - generally they fire 3 warning shots to the head, before asking questions!!! :)
  20. bomber991

    bomber991 Well-Known Member

    Re: Guidelines for motorists who are stopped by the State Patrol.

    And be sure to watch this video too everyone. 45 minutes but well worth it:

    Remember you never have to admit your guilt, even if you're being nice to the cop. If he asks you how fast you were going don't answer.

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