When you have a teen driver at home, safety is your top priority. In addition to what they learn in driver’s training and from mom and dad, much of teens’ driving expertise will come from hours and hours of experience behind the wheel.
Usually, that real-world experience would include handling being pulled over for the first time. But one Oakland County police department is being proactive and giving teens a chance to get some traffic stop “practice” in a controlled environment.
Teen traffic stops
The Southfield Police Department is launching the “Please Stop Me” simulated teen traffic stops program with its first event on Thursday, April 11, 2019. The event, which starts at 6 p.m., invites (pre-registered) teen drivers to show up with a parent at the vacant parking lot at the corner of Civic Center Drive and Evergreen Road – directly across from the Southfield Municipal Campus – to get pulled over.
“The program will focus on the safety of citizens as well as officers during traffic stops,” the city explains in a press release. “New drivers will learn the various reasons for traffic stops and what to do if they are ever involved in a traffic accident.”
This particular program is open to high school students with a valid driver’s license or driving permit who live or attend school in Southfield. Parents must attend with their teen and parents must also bring identification.
Space is limited, so anyone interested is asked to register in advance. Find details for registration on Southfield’s “Please Stop” Me page.
The 411 on getting pulled over
In the meantime, all teens should be prepared with what to do in the event they are pulled over by police for a traffic stop. Brush up on your teen’s skills by going over these top three reminders.
1. Stay in your car with your seatbelt on
After you pull off the road, be sure to stay in your car and keep your seatbelt on, the state of Michigan notes on its What Every Driver Must Know document. Keep your hands empty and in plain sight on the steering wheel, and ask any passengers in your car to stay quiet and keep their hands visible, too.
2. Wait for instructions
Only take your license, registration and insurance card out when the officer asks for them. “Let the officer know where these items are located before you retrieve them,” the state advises.
3. Don’t argue
The officer should tell you why you were pulled over, and he or she might ask you to exit the vehicle in some cases. “Do not argue about the reason for the stop or if you are issued a ticket,” the state of Michigan recommends.
“If you believe the officer’s conduct was inappropriate, cooperate with any directions you are given and follow up with a call to the officer’s supervisor. If you feel the stop or the ticket is inappropriate, discuss the matter with the court, not the officer.”