Traffic Stops

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WHY DID YOU STOP ME?

MOVING VIOLATIONS
The most common reason a vehicle is stopped is for a moving violation. Some examples include speeding offenses, failure to stop at a red light or stop sign, or failure to use a turn signal.

REGISTRATION / EQUIPMENT VIOLATIONS
Examples of these include expired vehicle tags and defective head or tail lights. The laws governing driving privileges in Kansas consist of 120 pages. It is not uncommon for a driver to be in violation of a law without knowing it.

COURTESY OR SAFETY CONCERNS
These are other reasons an officer might stop your vehicle. For example, your trunk may be open, something may be hanging from under your vehicle, or an article of clothing might be caught in the door.

STEPS TO FOLLOW IF YOU ARE STOPPED

  • Stop your vehicle as far out of the lane of traffic as possible. Make sure you turn your flashers on, and motion to the officer that you are going to comply.
  • Stay in your vehicle and turn on the interior light if it is after sundown. Good lighting assists good communication. Relax and remain in your vehicle. If you leave the vehicle, you subject yourself to the dangers of traffic.
  • Keep your hands in view, preferably on the steering wheel. Wait for the officer to request your license and proof of insurance.
  • Police officers are trained to ask for identification first and provide an explanation second. First, provide the requested documentation. Second, give the officer a chance to explain the reason you were stopped.
  • If you do not agree with the citation or the officer's demeanor, do not argue at the scene. All citizens have the right to question their citation before a judge. The Newton Police Department has an internal affairs system to investigate citizen complaints.

COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT POLICE PROCEDURES

 Q.    Why did the officer sneak up along the side of my car?
 A.    Police officers are trained to minimize their exposure to the traffic and to reduce the chance of
        them being injured.

 Q.    If it's only a minor offense, why did two or three officers show up?
 A.    Officers in the vicinity frequently back each other up whenever possible.

 Q.    Why do officers sit in the car for so long?
 A.    The officer is verifying your driving privileges and vehicle registration status through a statewide
        computer system. This causes delays in officers getting a response to their requests.

 Q.    Why do I have to sign the ticket?
 A.    In Kansas you do not have to sign the ticket. Doing so is not an admission of guilt, rather it is a
        notice that you will appear in court at the designated time and date.

SOME RULES OF THE ROAD

Carry Proper Identification
When driving a motor vehicle, you must have in your possession a valid driver's license and proof of insurance for the vehicle. If you are stopped and do not have these items, a citation may be issued.

Monitor Occupants
As the driver you are responsible for the conduct of all the occupants of the vehicle. This includes such things as passengers hanging their arms or legs out of a window, ensuring all passengers are wearing seatbelts, and all children are properly secured.

Signal Your Intentions
You must signal your intent to turn or change lanes before performing the action. Failure to do so may result in your vehicle being stopped by an officer.

 

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