What to expect if you're pulled over
The Click It or Ticket campaign began yesterday and officers say they're cracking down. In our Facebook Story of the Day, you wanted to know if you're pulled over does an officer have to tell you why before you hand over your license and registration?
"Any time you're stopped by a certified police officer in a marked unit in a uniform, you're required to pull over and see what the rationality for being stopped is," said Captain Tom Jackson of the Dougherty County Police Department.
Everyone knows when you see those flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror it's time to pull over, but what's the best way to follow a traffic stop?
"Make sure that the officer understands that you're going to make an attempt to stop," said Albany police Patrolman, Chris Richardson.
First signal to the officer, whether it's using your hazard lights or a simple hand wave, that you intend to stop because officers understand there may be areas you might not feel comfortable stopping in.
"Pick a populated spot. A shopping center, a mall or what have you," said Officer Richardson.
Once the cop approaches your car, expect to hand over your license and registration and get the reason why you were stopped, but not always in that order.
"Any citizen has the right to know why they were pulled over and they can ask why they were pulled over. Some officers prefer to receive your information before they tell you that, some will tell you when they approach the vehicle," said Captain Jackson.
Although every cop is different in what they say to you when they first pull you over, one thing stays the same: never unhook your seatbelt and try to get out of the car.
"That's probably one of the worst things that you can do because an officer doesn't know what your intentions are at that point," said Captain Jackson.
If you don't already have your information readily available, wait until the officer is at your window to move around the car for the safety of everyone involved.
"Traffic stops are one of the most dangerous things that we can do and we want to ensure our safety as well as everyone else's. We can't do you any good if we're not here to help you," said Officer Richardson.