MORGANTOWN — There are a few things to keep in mind when pulled over for a traffic violation, Monongalia County Sheriff Perry Palmer said.
After the red and blue appear in the rearview, Palmer said the first thing drivers should do is try and pull off the road in a safe manner. Drivers should pull off somewhere that won’t impede traffic or put the driver or law enforcement officer at risk of getting hit, he said.
He recommended looking for pull-offs, parking lots and similar areas.
Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said when pulled over, drivers should stay in the car and keep their hands on the wheel, or in view of the officer.
“The biggest thing is cooperate fully with the deputy’s requests,” Palmer said. “Don’t make sudden movements to alarm officers.”
Chief Preston agreed drivers should cooperate and refrain from sudden movements. They should also not become argumentative, he said.
Should a problem arise with the stop, officer or any impropriety, request for a supervisor to respond to the scene, Preston said. If a supervisor is not available, concerns should be raised with the Chief, Sheriff, or supervisor as soon as possible, he said. The incident can be reviewed and if needed, investigated for disciplinary or prosecutorial action.
If a driver needs to get something from somewhere in the car, they should communicate with the officer about where it is and ask before getting it, he said.
For drivers who carry a weapon, Palmer said letting the officer or deputy know there is a firearm in the vehicle up front puts the officer at ease. He said most people who carry weapons do so.
Cooperation makes the whole process smoother, Palmer said.
“Remain calm and you’ll be able to get on your way as soon as possible,” he said.