Tips to stay safe during a traffic stop - CBS46 News

Tips to stay safe during a traffic stop

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

It's a split second decision to make if you're driving alone and you see those flashing lights go on behind you.

"I drove down the road a little ways until I found a spot where I felt safe getting out and where I saw people around," said Stephanie Eubanks.

Stephanie Eubanks found herself in that situation when she was a new teen driver. Tensions among female drivers could be high right now after police say someone posing as a officer stopped two women and sexually assaulted them.

"It's nerve racking, nowadays because of that I think it's a good idea to call the cops just to ensure the person that's pulling you over is actually a cop," said Eubanks.

Police say that is something you can do if you feel uncomfortable but there are other steps you should take. Vince Champion with the International Brotherhood of Police Officers says it's critical to acknowledge the officer.

"Whether you do this and put your window down something of this nature to let the officer know would be good," Champion.

Put your hazards on and slow down. When the officer approaches the car, police have said it's ok to not roll your window all the way down. Champion, who has trained officers on traffic stops, agrees.

"This is a good where I can still hand you what I need to, we can see in what we're looking at, but you couldn't reach in an unlock my door," said Champion.

Champion says a fake officer out there makes the real officers' jobs that much harder by putting drivers on edge.

"Everyone talks about a gut feeling, even if everything is 100-percent legit but you just don't feel comfortable with it, you have to voice that and you have to ask, can you have somebody else here?"

He also recommends keeping your engine running. If unfortunately it is a fake officer who wanted to reach into your car, you'd be able to easier drive away compared to if you were in park.

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