Young drivers can easily find themselves in serious legal trouble in any number of ways, including repeated speeding offenses (particularly in work/school zones), for example, or driving under the influence. Distracted driving due to smartphone use is another common problem with young drivers, who need to be aware of the 2014 Illinois law that calls for stiff fines and even jail time for distracted driving that results in injury to others. Even something as seemingly innocuous as passing a stopped school bus can lead to stiff fines and driver’s license suspension.
When facing a police officer after being pulled over for a traffic violation, even the most experienced driver can get nervous and be unsure how to act. But an impulsive mistake can haunt a young driver for months and years to come. That is why it is so important to make sure that all drivers in your family—but especially the younger, less experienced ones—know what to do when a police officer approaches your car.
New Law Requires Driver’s Ed on Traffic Stops
Illinois law now requires, beginning with the 2017–2018 school year, that all driver’s education courses include instruction on how to act during a traffic stop. The Illinois Rules of the Road 2017 manual now includes these specific instructions for drivers who have been pulled over by law enforcement:
• Stay in the vehicle with both hands on the steering wheel and in clear sight of the officer.
• Do not step out of the vehicle unless the officer asks you to do so.
• Comply with the officer’s request to see a driver’s license and proof of insurance. Tell the officer where these items are (for example, in the glove box, a purse, under the seat, or on a cell phone), and wait for the officer’s okay before retrieving them.
• If you are given a ticket, you should sign it. Your signature is only proof that you received the ticket; it is not an admission of guilt.
Traffic Stop Courtesy
Whatever happens, remind yourself to remain calm and polite. How would you speak to an employee of a store or restaurant, for example? If you are in a bad mood, perhaps because you were already running late or had a rough day, do not take it out on the officer. Remember the old adage, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”
Arrested for a Serious Driving Violation?
If you are arrested, tell the police nothing except your name and address. Even if you feel you have been unfairly arrested, remain calm, and do not argue or resist. Politely but firmly state that you wish to remain silent and you want to speak to an attorney.
Protect Your Driving Rights with a Skilled Joliet Traffic Violations Attorney
Driving offenses can have serious consequences, but a skilled traffic offenses lawyer can explain your options and guide you through what can be a complex and confusing process. Do not wait until you or a loved one are facing a court appearance or trial. To protect your driving rights, consult a knowledgeable Will County traffic violations defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Law Offices of Jack L Zaremba at 815-740-4025 for a free and confidential consultation; phone calls are answered 24 hours a day.