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Why did you stop me?

ticketMoving violations, such as speeding, failure to signal turns, running traffic lights, are the most common reasons a vehicle is stopped.

License Plate or Equipment Violations are other reasons a vehicle may be stopped. It is not uncommon for a driver to be in violation of a law without knowing it. It is your responsibility to know the laws governing driving privileges.

Criminal Investigation often involves searching for a "get-a-way" car. Your vehicle may resemble the description of a suspect vehicle.

Excessive Noise from a Car. Factory sound systems can produce music loud enough for you to be arrested. If your stereo can be heard 50 feet or more from your car, you are in violation of the law. Excessive noise is one of the top three priorities of the community.

Guns and Drugs. Officers have a duty to always be looking to remove illegal guns and drugs from the street to make the community safer. Without a permit, it is illegal to transport guns in the passenger area of cars. The officer may ask if you have weapons or drugs.

Steps to Follow if You are Stopped

  1. Slow down; pull over safely as soon as possible.
  2. Stay in the driver's seat with both hands in sight on the steering wheel. Do not exit your vehicle unless asked to do so. Getting out of your car can be perceived as aggressive behavior and a threat to the officer's safety. Turn on your interior light if you are stopped at night.
  3. The officer can require the driver and passengers to exit the vehicle.
  4. Comply with the officer's request to see your license, registration and proof of insurance. If they are in the glove box or under the seat, state that and then retrieve them slowly.
  5. Most officers will not provide specific reasons for the stop until they have your license and registration in hand. Therefore, they will avoid having to debate the reason for the stop before they receive these items from you.
  6. Answer all questions. Your answers should be factual to the best of your knowledge.
  7. If the officer has "probable cause", your car can be searched without a warrant. If an officer has "reasonable suspicion" that you may be carrying a weapon, you may be subjected to a "pat down" search. Do not resist the search.
  8. The police can search you and your car if you are arrested.
  9. Officers do not have to read you your rights, as seen on television.

Why Cops Do What They Do:

  • Personal Injury car crashes increased 13.2% in 2006.
  • 357 separate incidents of gun shots fired were reported in 2006.
  • 33 murders have occurred between 2001 and 2006, of which 22 were killed by gunfire.
  • 90 firearms were confiscated between November 2005 and November 2006.
  • 94% of homicides between 2000 and 2006 are solved.
  • 24 firearms were confiscated during traffic stops/cities contacts during 2006.
  • 52 gun violence crimes have been prosecuted in Federal Court in the past two years.
  • 3,815 people have warrants for their arrest on file with Kalamazoo Public Safety at any given time.
  • Public Safety officers are on the look out for over 110 stolen vehicles at any given time.
  • 151 cops were killed in the line of duty in 2006 nationwide.
  • 4,846 Excessive Noise complaints were handled in 2006.
  • Excessive Noise is ranked as a top priority monthly by neighborhood associations.
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