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Safe Roads Now: Navigating a traffic stop when pulled over for distracted driving

Posted: 6:39 PM, Oct 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-23 11:24:21Z

Texting and driving is a ticketable offense in Nebraska if a driver commits another more serious driving infraction. 

Most drivers at some point are going to get pulled over, and if you're engaging in distracted driving, it may happen sooner rather than later. That's why AAA Nebraska and the Nebraska State Patrol want to remind drivers about how to stay safe during a traffic stop. 

When it comes to distracted driving, law enforcement has seen it all:  "Reading a book. Eating, playing with their pet. Trying to light a cigarette, as well," said Trooper Keith Bell, Nebraska State Patrol. 

But eventually, distracted driving can catch up to drivers, and lead to a ticket when also pulled over and cited for another driving offense. 

"Your attitude during the traffic stop is very important, said Bell. "Just have a good attitude. If you get pulled over, greet us as we would greet you. Give us the same respect you would want."

There are some lessons to remember during a traffic stop:

  • Move over to the right shoulder if possible or find another safe space out of the harm of traffic 
  • Stay calm, cool and collected
  • Put the vehicle in park
  • Keep hands visible at all times and do not reach for a license or registration unless instructed to do so
  • Passengers in the vehicle should also keep their hands visible and should not interact with officers unless told to do so
  • Only role down the driver's side window
  • Do not attempt to exit the vehicle
  • Always stay courteous to law enforcement

In an effort to keep drivers informed and safe, the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles is adding a section on traffic stops to its manual.

"One of our senators, Senator Carol Blood, brought this to the attention of the DMV to get this language into the drivers manual," said Rose White, Public Affairs Director, AAA Auto Club Group. "In addition to that, AAA created a module for all driving instructors so this information is now in the How to Drive Book with a separate syllabus for kids to role play on what to do when getting pulled over."

"It's about keeping the driver safe. The passenger safe, and law enforcement safe during traffic stops," said White. "Keep in mind, they are doing this for our safety."

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