When Police Stop You
In response to the concerns of the community, the Tequesta Police Department has directed your officers to address the growing traffic concerns throughout the community. The primary concerns of the Citizens of Tequesta are:
- Speed (excessive)
- Aggressive driving
- Red light / stop sign running
- Road rage
Questions, Compliments, or Complaints
If you have a question about procedures or a complaint about your treatment, contact the Department and ask to speak with a supervisor. You may also send a COMPLIMENTARY letter if you feel the officer was particularly helpful in your situation.
There are many different reasons why you might be stopped by the police. Whatever the reason, the officer needs your cooperation.
Traffic Stop Procedures
If you are stopped by the police while driving, you may feel confused, anxious, or even angry. These are natural feelings, but remember, traffic stops can also be stressful and dangerous for the police officer. Each year, a number of law enforcement officers are killed or seriously injured while making the "routine" traffic stop. "Police officers are especially vulnerable during the hours of darkness."
Remember: In all cases, a citizen is required to cooperate with police.
- A police officer may pull you over at any time for a traffic offense or police investigation.
- When you see the overhead lights and/or hear the siren, remain calm and safely pull over parallel to the right side of the road.
- Remain in your vehicle unless the officer advises otherwise.
- Keep your hands on the steering wheel so the officer can see them.
- Avoid any sudden movements, especially toward the floorboard, rear seat or passenger side of the vehicle.
- Do not immediately reach for your license or other documents until the officer requests them. Florida Law requires drivers to show their license, registration and insurance card upon request.
- If your documents are out of reach, tell the officer where they are before you reach for them.
- If the stop occurs during darkness, put on your dome or interior lights so the officer can easily see that all is in order.
- If there are passengers in your vehicle, encourage them to remain quiet and cooperate with instructions. You, as the operator, are solely responsible for your vehicle and its occupants.
- The officer may issue you a ticket. Avoid becoming argumentative. Arguing will not change the officer's mind. If you contest the violation, you will have an opportunity to address the matter in court.
- Be honest with the officer. If you really didn't see the stop sign, or were unaware of the speed limit, let the officer know. Being honest about any situation never hurts.
- The Tequesta Police Department generally uses one officer patrol cars, however, it would be normal to see two or three other police officers on a routine traffic stop.
- Finally, if you receive a ticket, accept it calmly. Signing the citation is not an admission of guilt.