Home Tips & Tricks Why Do Police Touch The Car – What To Do When Pulled Over?

Why Do Police Touch The Car – What To Do When Pulled Over?

by Kelvin Yates

You might be wondering… Why do police touch the car? A heart-pounding experience can result from spotting a police car’s flashing lights in your rearview mirror. In the past, people used to touch the taillight or another area on the back of a car when a police officer pulled them over.

This was done mostly for safety concerns as a routine component of traffic stops, as we will explain later. Do police officers still engage in this technique, though? What motivates them, if at all?

Police touch a car when they pull it over for two main reasons: to ensure no one can assault them from the trunk and to leave their fingerprints in your car as evidence of their contact with the driver.

Police officers may touch a stopped vehicle’s rear to check that the trunk is closed if they believe it to be risky. Although it might seem unusual, the police employ this tactic to ensure nobody lurks under the trunk who could emerge at any moment and harm them.

Why Do Police Touch The Car

Why Do Police Touch The Car

Law enforcement officers perform traffic stops in the US to look into potential crimes. Officers pull over a car if they have reason to believe the driver has broken a traffic or motor vehicle law.

Speeding is the primary justification for traffic stops.

If the officer believes there has been criminal behavior, they may search the vehicle, the driver, and the passengers to look for weapons or illegal items. The driver might be taken into custody if the officer decides there is enough proof.

Why, after stopping drivers, do police officers touch the back of their cars? During a traffic stop, officers may touch a car’s back for three reasons:

  • Make sure a car’s trunk is closed.
  • Leave a print so that it may be proven that the police officer was there.
  • To alert drivers who hold forbidden things.

The technique of tapping a car’s taillight or other areas of the back is still used by police. Modern technological advancements, such as dashboard cameras, have rendered the practice relatively superfluous, especially for the second and third reasons.

Why Do Police Touch The Car #1: Make Certain That A Car’s Trunk Is Closed

Even though it’s uncommon, it’s possible that someone might be in the trunk. As the police officer approaches the car, they can flee by jumping out. A police officer taps the trunk to ensure it is closed and latches securely to avoid this issue.

According to Trooper Steve Montiero, who was quoted by Click Orlando, “There are many protocols that need to be done when law enforcement officers perform a traffic stop, not just for the safety of the violation, but for that officer.”

“The first reason is to make sure the trunk is closed,” he stated. You want to ensure that the trunk is securely fastened and that nobody is about to jump out of it, which might sound a little strange.

Why Do Police Touch The Car #2: Leave A Print To Prove That The Officer Was There

After pulling someone over, police often touch the taillight or other parts of the back of the automobile to leave fingerprint evidence. This evidence demonstrates that they were present at the incident.

Fingerprints could be used as evidence in a criminal inquiry if a driver and a police officer were involved. A gunshot investigation or a vehicle accident investigation are two examples.

According to Trooper Montiero, touching the rear of the automobile leaves the officer’s fingerprints, proving that they were present when the car was touched. It connects the vehicle and the officer together in case the driver opted to leave the scene or if something unpleasant happens to that officer.

Several other things happen during traffic stops, including this one, to guarantee everyone’s safety. When drivers are in possession of forbidden materials, police officers touch the backs of cars to frighten them.

Why Do Police Touch The Car #3: To Alert Drivers Who Hold Forbidden Things

To terrify drivers is the third reason police officers touch the taillight or other areas at the back of cars during traffic stops. Police officers run the possibility of deadly circumstances during traffic stops.

This includes illicit narcotics, weapons, and other banned goods. If a driver has any illegal materials on them, they’ll probably want to hide them before the police officer gets close to the window.

One solution to this issue is to touch a car’s back. The driver may not have anticipated the tap. Consequently, the officer will probably frighten them when it occurs. The motorist will then stop and wait a short while.

The little wait allows the police officer time to determine whether the driver is making any attempt to conceal anything. The Law Dictionary explains that this surprising strategy offers a number of established advantages.

This involves arresting drunk drivers, drug dealers, owners of illegally obtained weapons, and other traffic violators. When stopping a car, police typically touch it for two reasons: To prevent anyone from attacking them while leaving their fingerprints in their car as evidence of their contact with the driver.

Police officers may touch a stopped vehicle’s rear to check that the trunk is closed if they believe it to be risky. Although it might seem unusual, the police employ this tactic to ensure nobody lurks under the trunk who could emerge at any moment and harm them.

Why Do Police Touch The Car #4: Motivate The Driver To Act

Police officers receive special training to help them interpret body language. In order to observe how you will respond, they will now touch the back of your car. This enables them to analyze the issue accurately. You will be under stress if you have committed a crime, and the police will notice it.

Why Do Police Touch The Car #5: Catch An Impaired Driver

According to one notion, the abrupt knock on the car will startle the drunk driver. So, if the police officer stops the automobile and believes the driver is intoxicated, they may act in this manner.

However, according to DWI/DUI attorney and criminal defense lawyer Joe Hoelscher, this hypothesis is unfounded. He gave reasons as to why you shouldn’t permit police to work on your tail lights.

Instead, cops should barely touch the vehicle, so the motorist won’t notice that the officer’s fingerprints are already on it. The errant driver could wipe the fingerprint away in the alternative.

What Inquiries Do The Police Make At A Traffic Stop

The police will request your driver’s license, registration, and insurance card. They’ll also inquire about your origin and final destination. The police might also ask for your phone number. Officers may let you proceed immediately if you are heading to urgent work or going to see someone in the hospital.

Is A Reason Required For The Police To Pull Over

No, it does not. The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution forbids the use of unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement. Evidence gathered by a warrantless search or seizure is not admissible in court.

The police, however, are free to pull over a driver for any reason they deem fit. If you are stopped at night, the rules are slightly different. They can stop you for any reason, regardless of how you are driving, but they must have a good reason to believe you have done something wrong before they can search your vehicle.

Why Do Police Touch The Car

What To Do If The Police Stop You

1. Locate A Secure Location To Stop

Assess your surroundings (highway, side road, etc.), check your mirrors, and choose a secure spot to pull over. Look for a nearby parking space or a wide, well-lit shoulder of the road. It is permissible to drive a short distance to find a secure place to halt if the region is extensively traveled.

An illustration of this would be being stopped on a major roadway rather than turning into a parking lot or less congested side streets. Both you and the police officer who will be getting out of the automobile will be safer here. If you need to cross many lanes of traffic to pull over, make sure your flashers are on and move over slowly.

2. Reduce Your Speed And Turn On Your Flasher Or Turn Signal

Your intention to pull over within a safe distance is made clear to the police by reducing your speed and using the turn signal or flashers.

3. Remain Composed And Lower The Driver Side Window

Inhale deeply to relax your muscles. The driver’s side window should be rolled down, along with any tinted windows. Set the interior lights on if it is dark. Your motions should be slow since the police officer is closely observing you to ensure you are not drawing a weapon or trying to conceal something. Never reach under your seat or into the passenger compartment of your car.

4. Put The Vehicle In Park And Turn The Key Off

Wait for the police officer’s directions after parking the car. Stay still; even an abrupt lowering of one or both shoulders can trigger a search if it seems suspicious. Keep your hands visible, preferably with your fingers on the top of the driving wheel. You shouldn’t exit the car. Aggressive behavior may be implied if you exit your car before the police ask you to.

5. Attend The Police Officer’s Directions

Don’t speak initially when the police officer approaches your window. Typically, he or she will request your driver’s license and registration. Before you make any movements, let the police officer know if you need to reach for your wallet or glove box.

Slowly and deliberately move forward. The police officer will use his flashlight to follow your hands if you’re in a dark place. Before doing anything else, get this done. Then, put your hands back on the wheel. Keep your hands on the wheel when the police officer verifies your license and the state of your car.

6. Be Polite

If you receive a ticket, act with respect and refrain from arguing with the police officer. If you believe you have been falsely accused. You have the right to defend yourself in court, and that is the moment to clarify any inconsistencies.

If you receive a ticket, the directions for paying the fine or the day your case will be heard in court will be printed on the ticket. Give the best possible answers to the police officer’s inquiries. Just remember that everything you say to a police officer might be used against you in court.

7. Clearly Sign The Summons

If a citation is given, you will have to sign it in front of the police officer. By signing the citation, you are confirming that you are the person who received it and that you intend to either pay the fine or appear in court. It does not constitute an admission of guilt (where you can dispute the fine).

In the event that the police stop you, remember to maintain your composure, drive cautiously, and adhere to the officer’s instructions. In order to verify the identity of the police officer, you also need to request suitable identification from them. If you believe you were stopped or issued a ticket in error, speak to an attorney and/or contest the ticket in court.

What Not To Do When Pulled Over

1. Respond To The Officer’s Questions

A cop’s only responsibility is to look into potential lawbreakers and compile evidence in their favor. Because of this, responding to a police officer’s inquiries about your traffic stop is never a good idea.

As citizens of the United States, we are not obligated to incriminate ourselves because of our rights under the Fifth Amendment. This privilege essentially means that we are not required to respond to police inquiries, particularly if doing so could result in an arrest.

If you don’t want to remain silent, you can gently decline to answer the question by stating something like, “I kindly decline to answer the question.” If a police officer demands that you respond to a question or you risk being charged with “obstruction of justice,” refuse to do so until you have spoken with an accomplished criminal defense lawyer.

2. Verify A Police Officer’s Admission Of Guilt

As was previously mentioned, a police officer’s only duty during a traffic stop is to look into and acquire evidence against the person who was pulled over. The police will accuse persons of wrongdoing and seek the accused’s affirmative consent to their statements as one method of gathering evidence.

For instance, a police officer might ask, “Are you feeling a little tipsy tonight?” Although the question might seem innocent, the police probably just accused you of driving while intoxicated.

If you respond in the affirmative, you can bet that the police will bring up your affirmative response at trial. Therefore, you must never concur with an officer’s assertions or respond favorably to inquiries about your night, your current state of mind, or why the officer pulled you over.

3. Lie

Never lie to an officer for any reason regarding your traffic stop, even if they accuse you of doing something improper. You have no idea how much information an officer has regarding the basis for your traffic stop when they pull you over and begin to interview you. As a result, an officer may have evidence that you broke the law; hence, lying now could result in serious consequences.

Do not respond to a police query if you can only lie to avoid giving yourself away. The authorities cannot charge you for being silent, but they can if you knowingly provide false information.

FAQs On Why Do Police Touch The Car

Why Do Police Touch Your Car

There are several reasons why they do it. So that you can’t claim that you haven’t seen them yet, they want to leave their prints on your car. In order to frighten you and make you more compliant, police may also touch your car. However, they do so to ensure that nobody is hiding in your trunk and pulling a surprise trump on them.

Why Do Cops Touch The Back Of Your Car

To shock the person inside, police officers sometimes touch tail lights. The noise of the tap usually prompts the motorist to halt for a moment since they are not expecting it, allowing the police officer more opportunity to see what they are trying to conceal.

Why You Should Not Let Cops Touch Your Tail Lights

You definitely don’t want to let the police mess with your tail lights. Although you might not realize it, taillights are crucial! You cannot see where you are going without them. They may even be hazardous to drive with if they are severely shattered or damaged. There is a strong risk that your automobile won’t be able to stop when it needs to if your tail lights are broken or damaged.

Do Red Cars Get Pulled Over More

It’s a common misconception that police stop red cars more often because they stick out. The majority of traffic stops involve white vehicles. Red is second, followed by grey and silver in third and fourth position, respectively. It’s critical to keep in mind that your chance of being stopped depends considerably more on your driving style than it does on the brand and model of your vehicle.

Are Cops Allowed To Touch Your Car

If the police are on patrol, they have every right to touch your car. This is a normal practice for them. Even though that is the case, they still cannot search your car without your permission and a valid reason. Keep in mind that touching your car and doing a search are two different things.

Why Do Cops Touch The Trunk

The police officer puts one hand on the back of the car’s trunk as he approaches it from the driver’s side. They do this to make sure the trunk is shut and that nobody will leap out.

Do Police Have To Tell You Why They Pull You Over

The police are under no obligation to explain their decision to halt you. The court will find the officer’s stop to be legitimate as long as the justification is present. There are restrictions on an officer’s ability to stop you, though.

Can A Sheriff Pull You Over

Sheriffs are in charge of your entire county, whereas police are simply in charge of the city they work for. Within the county, sheriffs may pursue you for any offense, even speeding.

Why Do Police Leave Their Fingerprints On Car

The Law Dictionary states that before most police cars had dashboard cameras, touching the taillight was a covert technique for cops to leave behind proof of the interaction. The fingerprints left on the car during the traffic stop could be used to identify the officer if something were to happen to them during the encounter. Even in the absence of video evidence of a crime, this would aid other police officers in finding a missing member of the force.

Why Do Cops Zig Zag On The Freeway

The purpose of the maneuver, according to Connecticut State Police, was to slow down on-highway traffic. Although the zig-zag route initially seems strange, it is very common and might even save your life.

What Does Yellow Lights On A Cop Car Mean

Yellow signals urge caution. Along with the typical red, blue, and/or yellow lights, certain police light bars also have yellow lights added. At the scene of an accident investigation, the yellow lights could be turned on to signal drivers to slow down.

Is It Illegal For A Cop To Hide

Nighttime lighting is not required for police cars. They are permitted to remain in darkness while hiding. Whether they announced their presence or not, they have the right to stop you for breaking the law. A court would not classify it as entrapment. Police can examine license plates at any moment for any cause, so the answer is yes. Your license plate is visible to the general public, so it does not constitute a Fourth Amendment search or seizure on its own. To put it another way, it is not a violation of privacy.

Can Cops Hide With Their Lights Off

It is permissible for a police officer to pull someone over with their lights off because they are not required to broadcast their position. The case may be the target of a jurisdictional challenge if the summons and complaint have specific flaws.

Final Verdict

Why Do Police Touch The Car

Why do police touch the car? When stopping an automobile, officers usually touch the back for two reasons: To prevent anyone from attacking them while leaving their fingerprints in their car as evidence of their contact with the driver.

When the police pull you over, they may check the back of your car to ensure the trunk is closed if they believe your vehicle is unsafe. They do this to make sure that nobody is hidden in your trunk who could pounce out and hurt them, which may seem unusual to you.

When they order you to stop, they need to follow certain procedures. They do this not only for their safety but also for your safety. Touching the rear end of your car leaves their fingerprints on it, one way of proving that they were present when you were ordered to stop your car.

You may also like

Leave a Comment