Young drivers--or those who have never been stopped by the police--can be overwhelmed the first time they go through a traffic stop. A lucky few may go their whole lives without being stopped, but when a traffic violation occurs, there is a risk of being pulled over. When an officer pulls you over in traffic stop, he or she is expected to clearly instruct you on how to proceed. The officer will ask for your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. Depending on the reason for the stop, an officer may also ask you to exit the vehicle for a field sobriety test or for a search of the car. In Illinois, a police officer is within his or her rights to ask for your name and for an explanation as to why a violation was committed. However, while you are required to show your license and registration, you do not have to answer any questions or consent to your vehicle to be searched without a good reason.
What a Driver Should Do
If you see blue and red flashing lights in your rear-view mirror, pull over immediately, turn on your hazard lights, and put the car in park. Once stopped, the police officer will approach your car, identify him or herself, and ask to see the required identification. The officer can also ask certain questions, such as “Do you know how fast you were going?” However, you are protected by the Fifth Amendment and do not have to answer that query. The Fifth Amendment states that everyone has the right to not incriminate themselves by admitting to a crime, including a traffic violation.