Traffic Stop Guidelines - Rochester Police Department

In an effort to keep encounters between the Rochester Police Department (RPD) and community members safe, here are some tips to keep in mind in the event you are pulled over by police for a traffic stop. 

  • If you are being stopped by the police, pull your vehicle over to a safe area as soon as it is possible to do so. Use your turn signal so that the officer is aware of your intent to pull over.

  • After you have pulled over and stopped, turn off your vehicle and radio. Do not engage in a conversation on your cellphone while the officer is attempting to speak with you. These steps can allow for easier and more effective communication between you and the officer.

  • Being pulled over for a traffic violation can be frustrating, time consuming and make everyone nervous. Remain as calm as possible. Do not try to rush the process; it can raise concerns by the officer and possibly make the stop last even longer.

  • Stay in your vehicle, unless you are instructed otherwise.

  • If it is dark outside, turn on your interior lights so that the Officer can see you and your vehicle clearly.

  • Roll down your window prior to the Officer approaching your vehicle. If your back windows are tinted, roll them down as well to facilitate the officers visibility of the vehicle’s interior upon approach, for safety reassurances.

  • If you have any weapons with you, inform the Officer at the beginning of the stop and do not reach for the weapon.

  • Keep your hands in plain sight, such as on the steering wheel. If you need to reach for something, for example your driver’s license or registration, let the officer know what you are reaching for and where it is located. This also helps to reassure officer’s for their safety. To help avoid a misunderstanding and possible confrontation, please do not reach for unnecessary or unrequested items. Any unnecessary movements with your hands could be misinterpreted as an attempt to hide something or possibly, as an attempt to get a weapon.

  • Remain civil and do not argue. If you are given a ticket and you do not agree with it, save the argument for court. Accepting a ticket from an officer is not an admission of guilt. There are instructions with the ticket on how to plead not guilty or guilty.

  • After the stop is complete, carefully merge back into traffic.

 Click here for more information regarding your rights during a traffic stop.