How to Survive a Traffic Stop

I’m a cop. I’m human, you’re human. We’re both good guys. Don’t act like a bad guy and we’ll both get through this just fine.

Traffic Stops

When you are pulled over by the police here are a few things to avoid

Do not run from your vehicle (you will be chased).
Never try to hug the officer. Ten times out of ten it’s just not going to end well.
  • Don’t get out of your vehicle unless asked
  • Do not try to hide your weed while the officer is approaching (your cell mate bubba will love your company)
  • Never admit to having drugs (this will cause a lengthy delay in your trip plans)
  • Do not keep your license under the seat (sudden movements to this location will change my demeanor really quick)
  • Don’t change seats (what is this, whack a mole?)
  • Do not answer “who me” after each question. (Why would you answer a question with a question? And who are you, Travis Bickle?)
Don’t be obvious about wearing gang colors (red, black, blue… and you should see the Pantone Gang)
  • Keep your clothes on (the muff bond is an urban myth)
  • Lose the ski mask (even during Halloween this is considered a bad idea)
Lose the felony Christmas tree air fresheners (All cops know that if you have more than two air fresheners, you got weed)
  • Leave the Donut jokes at home (real life isn’t The Simpsons. Or Police Academy. Or Family Guy. Or Walk like an Egyptian. Or Wreck-it Ralph. Or Stakeout, The Santa Clause, The Mask, The Fugitive, Running Beverly Hills Cop, Point Break, Wayne’s World, Who’s the Man, or the Gorillaz Stylo video… okay, maybe it’s that one)
Never impersonate a police officer (seriously, this guy was written up for that)
Never be pulled over wearing shirts that say: I’m with stupid, Slacker by choice or any clothing that has a cannabis leaf on it. (let’s just say you’re advertising to the wrong demographic)
  • Never ask why you were stopped (this only demonstrates that you have no clue what you were doing, giving us a chance to make it up)
  • Do not tell stupid police jokes. (Examples: Why didn’t you stop? Well my wife ran off with a State Trooper last week and I thought you were him trying to bring her back. What’s the different between a bucket of shit and a police officer? the bucket. Does your police dog bark when he sees your crack? When you hit your lights I swallowed a birth control pill because I knew I was screwed. You can’t take me in, the judge already said he never wanted to see me again. How many cops does it take to throw a man down the stairs? None, he fell. Why did the cop leave the baseball game early? To beat the crowd…)
  • When asked how much you had to drink, never use these answers:
    • Today?
    • In the last hour?
    • You mean all day?
    • I only had two drinks. (No one ever has just two)
    • None while I was driving
Instead of showing 6 hours of boring videos for driver’s ed, they should just show Chris Rock’s “How not to get your Ass Kicked by the Police”

Here are some good examples of what to do when stopped

Place both hands on the steering wheel
  • Turn your music down
  • Roll your window down
  • Be polite
  • Listen and follow commands
Never stare at the gun. Or anything. Don’t stare at anything.
  • Move slowly and explain your movements
  • Have your license, registration and insurance ready
  • At night turn your dome light on
  • Be honest (you may just catch a break)
  • Be respectful
  • Do not argue (save it for court)
  • Be polite
  • If you ask a question, wait for the answer before you start talking again.

We really hate it when stuff like this happens.

Bonus: At the Airport

What not to do at an airport

  • Never run through the concourse
  • Never say “Hi” to your friend Jack (an oldie but goody)
I wouldn’t be carrying these pictures if I was you.
  • Do not make jokes with TSA officials. Especially you, Carrot Top.
  • [strip search joke goes here]
  • Don’t look nervous
  • Don’t wear dark sunglasses
  • Don’t try to guess who the Air Marshal is

What to do at an airport

Tasers hurt, genius.
  • Wait patiently
  • Smile at everyone (but don’t overdo it)
  • Have your I.D. and ticket available at the counter.
  • Have your suit case packed appropriately
  • Don’t move until ordered to do so
  • Walk slow and steady to your plane
  • Leave your weapons at home, Tex.

M.J. Mann is a state law enforcement official who writes here under an assumed name.

This article was written by M.J. Mann for Inside Job and is not intended to represent the official position of anyone or anything other than the author.


Traffic Stop

The Hug

Running from Police

Gang Colors

Air Fresheners

Impersonating a Police Officer

Leaf Shirt

Tasered Guy on Ground

Dog Beers

Steering Wheel

Leaning In


Bin Laden AP via