Let’s face it. It’s happened to all of us. We’re nonchalantly driving down the road, oblivious that there is anything “wrong” or that there is going to be a problem of any sort, and all of a sudden there’s a siren and flashing lights RIGHT ON THE BACK BUMPER. Any number of expletives roll through the head while the heart rate kicks up, and the shakes set in. We pull the car to the side of the road and…the head goes blank.
Wait. What are we supposed to do? License? Registration? Insurance card (if you live in the state of Missouri)? License plate stickers that are kept on the sun visor since they get stolen all the time….
If we think that a traffic stop is stressful and rough for the driver of a car, imagine what it must be for the police officer walking up to the side of the vehicle not knowing what to expect. In the last week, we’ve seen what can happen when tensions are running high, and adrenaline spikes.
In a phenomenal public service announcement, country singer Coffey Anderson walks EVERYONE – not just black men – through the steps of what to do when stopped by a cop.
I guess this means no more putting my purse in the back seat.
There’s a lot of good tips there. Keep all documents within easy sight and reach. Keep hands visible. That alone will lower the tension, and make what is almost always a bad situation not begin to escalate immediately.
Mr. Anderson is absolutely right. It’s all about walking away from a bad situation. If We the People can do our best to keep the worst from happening, with all luck it will be greatly appreciated by the men and women who already have a lot of stress not of their making on their plates.