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Pulled Over by a Cop? This Is What to Do
You blew through a red light! You sped down the highway oblivious to the posted speed limit! And you just got caught. You see the flashing red lights in your rearview mirror, and you pull over. Now what do you do? Before you panic, cry or get belligerent, know this: A traffic stop is the most common reason for contact with the police, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

You got caught, lead foot! Find out how to fight a speeding ticket and get tips to avoid getting one.

WTOP News in Washington, D.C. consulted with AAA for specific advice of what to do--and not do--when a cop pulls you over:

  • When you see the flashing lights, follow the police officer's instructions. Slow down, use your turn signal and pull your vehicle well off to the side of the road.

  • Stay in your vehicle and turn off the engine and radio.

  • Keep your seat belt fastened until the officer has seen you wearing it.

  • Take a deep breath and don't panic. Remain calm while the officer explains why you were stopped.

  • If you are stopped at night, turn on your interior lights or dome light.

  • Be on your best behavior, and always be polite to the police officer. Don't be argumentative.

  • Cooperate with the police. It could make all the difference between a ticket and a warning.

  • 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.

  • Keep your hands in plain view of the officer. Avoid reaching or making sudden movements. Never reach under your seat.

  • Avoid provoking the officer or showing off in front of other occupants.

  • Always carry proper identification: a valid driver's license, proof of vehicle registration and current proof of insurance. Do not retrieve or reach for documentation until instructed by the police officer to do so.

  • If you are asked to exit the vehicle, do it slowly.

  • If you receive a traffic citation or ticket, accept it calmly. Contest the traffic citation in a court of law.

WHAT is the worst driving behavior? Hint: It's not texting. And it can result in a fatal car crash.

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