Getting pulled over by the Tennessee Highway Patrol can be a frightening experience. However, as long as you know what to do, you can get through the traffic stop without running into any major problems.
The first thing that you should do when you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror is pull over to the side of the road. Use your turn signal and pull off to the right-hand side of the road as soon as it is safe to do so. Park your car and turn off your ignition.
If you are pulled over at night, turn on your interior lights. This will make it easier for the officer to see you. Avoid reaching for the glove box or making any sudden movements. Instead, sit quietly in your seat with your hands in plain view, waiting for the police officer to approach your vehicle.
When the officer walks up to the side of your car, they may ask you to show them proof of insurance, your vehicle’s registration paperwork, and your driver’s license. You can slowly reach for these items, taking care to avoid any sudden movements that could be misinterpreted by the officer. Always keep your hands clearly visible to avoid any misunderstandings.
In most cases, you won’t have to get out of your vehicle. You should stay seated inside your vehicle unless the officer tells you otherwise. If they ask you to get out of the vehicle, you should get out slowly, keeping your hands visible at all times. Remember, the officer doesn’t know you and doesn’t know how you will react. If they think that you might be reaching for a weapon, they will err on the side of caution and assume that you are.
To avoid any conflict, you should do your best to make sure that the officer can see your hands at all times and that you don’t do anything that could be misinterpreted as being aggressive or threatening.
Avoid arguing with the Tennessee Highway Patrol officer if they issue a traffic citation. Instead, save your arguments for the courtroom. Arguing with the police officer can cause the situation to escalate. It is much better to stay calm and accept the citation, even if you believe that it was issued in error. You will have a chance to argue against the citation in court at a future date.