Illinois State Police District 19 Interim Commander Lieutenant Cory Ristvedt would like to address the issue of law enforcement and public interactions during traffic stops. Most traffic stops are conducted for minor traffic violations or equipment issues related to the vehicle and the law enforcement officer will notify you of the reason for the traffic stop.
In addition, Lieutenant Ristvedt refers drivers to The Rules of the Road, published by the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office, for information concerning traffic stops. He would like to highlight the following:
· Once you observe emergency lights and realize you are being stopped, slow down and safely pull over as soon as possible.
· Realize a law enforcement officer can approach your vehicle from the driver side or the passenger side.
· Remain in the driver’s seat with both hands clearly visible on the steering wheel. Do not exit your vehicle unless asked to do so. Exiting the vehicle places you at risk of injury from passing motorists and may be perceived as an aggressive gesture on your part towards the law enforcement officer.
· Comply with the law enforcement officer’s request to see your driver’s license and current proof of insurance. Advise the law enforcement officer where those items are located prior to retrieving them.
· Upon request from a law enforcement officer, disclose the presence of a concealed firearm under the Firearm Concealed Carry Act.
· If you are issued a ticket requiring a signature, sign the ticket. Your signature is not an admission of guilt, only an acknowledgment of receiving the ticket.
· Cooperate during the traffic stop, even if you believe you have not committed an offense. If you disagree with the outcome, present your case in traffic court and not to the law enforcement officer along the roadway.
Lieutenant Ristvedt would like to conclude with, “Being stopped by a law enforcement officer can be a stressful situation for the traveling public; however, by following the recommendations from The Rules of the Road, we can decrease the stress on the part of the motorist and the law enforcement officer.” Lieutenant Ristvedt added, “For your safety and the safety of all motorists, please drive carefully, follow the speed limit, don’t drink and drive, don’t drive distracted, and always buckle up.”