What to do During a Traffic Stop
In direct response to the traffic concerns of the community, the Green Cove Springs Police Department has directed its police officers to address the following traffic concerns throughout our community.
- Speed (excessive)
- Aggressive driving
- Red light/stop sign running
- Road rage
To best address these community concerns, the Police Department will be proactively patrolling our roadways and strictly enforcing the traffic laws within the City of Green Cove Springs.
If you are stopped while driving a motor vehicle, you may feel confused, anxious or even angry. These are natural feelings we all feel when stopped by a police officer, but remember, traffic stops can also be stressful and dangerous for the police officer. Each year, a significant number of law enforcement officers are killed or seriously injured while making "routine" traffic stops and that police officers are especially vulnerable during the hours of darkness. This is why many times a second patrol vehicle will arrive on scene during a traffic stop.
Questions - Compliments - Complaints - If you have a question about procedures or a complaint about your treatment, contact the Police Department and ask to speak with an on duty supervisor. You may also send a COMPLIMENTARY letter is you feel the officer was particularly helpful in your situation.
There are many different reasons why the police might stop you, but whatever the reason, the officer needs your cooperation during the traffic stop.
ALWAYS REMEMBER: In all cases, a citizen is required to cooperate with police.
With this in mind, there are things that you, the motoring public, can do to help lessen the unpleasantness of the experience.
- A police officer may stop you at any time for a traffic offense or police investigation.
- When you see the overhead lights and/or hear the siren, remain calm and safely pull over parallel to the right side of the road.
- Remain in your vehicle unless the officer advises otherwise.
- Keep your hands on the steering wheel so the officer cam see them at all times.
- Avoid any sudden movements, especially toward the the floorboard, rear seat or passenger side of the vehicle.
- Do not immediately reach for your license or other documents until the officer requests them. Florida Law requires drivers to show their license, registration and insurance card upon the presence of a law enforcement officer.
- If your documents are out of reach, tell the officer where they are before you reach for them.
- If the stop occurs during darkness, put on your dome light or interior lights so the officer can easily see that all is in order.
- If there are passengers in your vehicle, encourage them to remain quiet and cooperate with instructions. You, as the operator, are solely responsible for the vehicle and its occupants.
- The officer may issue you a traffic citation. Avoid becoming argumentative, as arguing will not change the officer's mind. If you choose to contest the citation, you will have an opportunity to address the matter in court.
- Be honest with the officer. If you really didn't see the stop sign, or were unaware of the speed limit, let the officer know. Being honest about any situation never hurts.
- The Green Cove Springs Police Department generally operates one-officer patrol cars, and it is normal to see additional police officers at a routine traffic stop.
- Finally, if you receive a traffic citation "ticket", accept it calmly. By signing the traffic citation, it is not an admission of guilt, only that you will comply with the instructions given to you by the officer if you wish to contest the traffic citation in a court of law.
Serving with S.P.I.R.I.T.