This weekend marks the first long weekend of the Spring/Summer season, which means many of us will be hitting the highways to spend time with family and friends. It also means that there will be an increased police presence on Ontario’s highways targeting speeding and dangerous drivers.
If you see those flashing red lights in your rear-view window while traveling this weekend, here are some things you should and shouldn’t do when pulled over:
- DO show the officer that you acknowledge them by turning on your 4-way flashers and pull over to a safe area as soon as possible.
- DO remember that because of the long drive, you may be feeling stressed and tired. Check yourself and make sure that you keep as calm and friendly as possible when speaking with the officer who has pulled you over.
- DO remember that police are looking out for your safety and working to help prevent car accidents that could cause serious injury or death.
- DO roll your window down after pulling over and wait for the officer to approach your car and if it’s dark outside, turn the above head light on to illuminate the front cabin of the car (they’re probably going to shine a flashlight in there anyways).
- DO NOT make moves until the officer has instructed you to do so. You may think that getting all of your information ready is a good thing, but the officer has no idea what you may or may not have in your car. Sudden movements or unrequested behaviour could be cause for concern of an officer approaching a vehicle. Being proactive will not help you in this situation.
- DO remember that more than likely, you were stopped for either a routine spot check or for speeding. If you plan on fighting any ticket, make sure to not say anything that would indicate an admission of guilt and definitely don’t inform the officer that you are going to fight the ticket as they will make sure that their notes are in tip-top shape, making a defense more difficult.
- DO get back on the road. Once everything has been handled and you can get back on your way, put any paperwork or belonging back where they were taken from, turn-on your signal, and merge safely back into traffic.
Hopefully these tips will help you survive the trip and ease any stress about the heightened police presence on the roads during this long weekend and the ones to come. Safe driving!
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