Why do all
This is really an unfair question. There is a public perception
that police offices may abuse their positions by exceeding the
speed limit. Some may, and that is an unfortunate reality;
however, police officers know the consequences of excessive
speed both from a physical injury and a legal responsibility
One thing that the general public may not be aware of is that
officers sometimes respond to calls that pose a significant risk
of danger to themselves and the general public. In some of these
cases, the use of emergency equipment such as lights and siren
on a vehicle are inappropriate. For instance, if there is a
silent hold up alarm at a bank, and you were inside, would you
want the person(s) robbing the bank to know that the police were
closing in on their location? In this situation, signals of our
arrival might escalate the bank robbery into a hostage
As a result of situations such as the one depicted, it's not
possible to know when a police car is going to an emergency
call. If you feel as though the activities of an officer in a
vehicle are inappropriate, you always have the ability to call
the station and verify that the officer was responding to a
Is it true that police officers won't chase law breakers?
With more and more vehicle congestion on our roadways, we must
be mindful of the risk to human life when chasing a suspect in a
vehicle. It is true that we have, to some degree, limited the
conditions in which officers are permitted to chase a suspect in
a vehicle. This decision was made with the understanding that we
must temper the risks between letting a suspect get away with a
crime (for the time being) compared to the risks of injury or
death to the general public, officers, and even the suspect
during a high speed chase.
Our officers are skilled drivers and receive formal training on
a routine basis in emergency operation of their motor vehicles.
What should I do if I am pulled over?
If you are pulled over, remain calm. Try to find a well-lit area
that is relatively free from moving traffic. If it is night
time, turn on the interior dome light of your car and lower your
driver's side window. Lower the volume of your stereo and place
your hands on your steering wheel.
When the officer requests your driver license, registration, and
proof of insurance, you should advise the officer where the
items are and slowly reach for them. It is a good idea to
produce these items as soon as possible. Consider using a
paperclip to affix these items to your driver license and
placing them together in your wallet. This should increase the
speed of retrieving these items and will speed up the amount of
time that you have to sit on the side of the road.
Do not argue the violation with the officer on the side of the
road. You are entitled to due process for this alleged violation
and you can argue your side of the story to a magistrate.
Remember, just because you receive a citation does not mean that
you are, as far as the state is concerned, guilty.
When prompted, sign the bottom of the citation, with the same
style signature which appears at the bottom of your driver's
license. You should receive the yellow copy of the citation or
What are my options if I get a ticket?
You have three options to take care of a moving citation.
You can take the citation to court and
contest the charge. If you do, the officer will have to make
a case against you.
The magistrate may throw the case out if the officer
doesn't show up or lacks documentation to make
his/her case. The magistrate may also withhold
points or reduce the fine.
You could be fined up to $500, and if you forget you
attend court, your license will be suspended.
- You can pay the fine and take the
points against your license.
Write a check, call in a credit card number... the
ordeal is over and you can get on with your life.
Insurance rates tend to increase with your points
and with the accumulation of too many points in too
short of a period of time will result to a license
revocation by the state.
- You can elect to attend a
driver improvement school, pay a reduced fine, plus a school
You get no points on your record (in most cases) and
your insurance rates don't go up.
When you get done paying the fine and registration
fee, you end up paying more then the citation (in
What if I am not sure if the car pulling me over is really a
If you are close by, drive to the police station. If you are
not, continue driving in a non-aggressive manner to a well
populated area with a high volume of people out in the open. If
you are unsure that the vehicle is a police car because it is
unmarked, then wait until a marked police vehicle joins the
unmarked vehicle. If you have a cell phone, consider calling the
police department to verify that the officer is in fact
legitimate. Instances of people posing as police officers are
not as common as you might think, but it is prudent to have a
plan if you face a situation that you think may be dangerous to
How do I know if my license is valid or suspended?
You can go to a local driver license bureau and request that
they pull up your license.
What should I do if I am in a traffic accident?
If you are in danger of being struck by oncoming traffic, move
the vehicles out of the path of danger. Assess the need for
first aid to yourself and any other involved party. Call the
police. A report is optional if there are no injuries, there is
under $500.00 worth of combined property damage, and both
vehicles can leave on their own.
Just how fast can I drive before the police will give me a
You can be pulled over for exceeding the posted speed limit no
matter how much over you are. Tickets may be issued based on the
discretion of the individual officer.
If an officer requests that I stay in my car or get out of my
car, do I have to?
Yes. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that a police
officer has the lawful authority to place you in a controlled
position while you are in their custody on a traffic stop.
PENNSYLVANIA v. MIMMS, 434 U.S. 106 (1977)
MARYLAND v. WILSON
I received an equipment violation ticket. How do I resolve it?
Take it to any police station or sheriff's department in the
State of Florida within the allotted time period. An officer
will inspect the correction and sign the back of the citation.
Retain a copy of the citation and either drop off or mail the
signed ticket plus the appropriate dismissal fee to either the
main courthouse in West Palm Beach or the South Courthouse in
When do I know when I have had too much to drink to drive?
The answer to this question is not concrete. Due to different
concentrations of water in male and female bodies, the rate each
individual metabolizes alcohol, the amount of alcohol in a
particular drink...etc. It would be irresponsible to attempt to
give you this information. When in doubt, let someone else
drive. If that is not an alternative, wait.
What is implied consent?
Implied consent is an agreement that you have entered into with
the State of Florida when you signed your driver license. It
states that you agree to submit to testing of your breath, blood
or urine when requested by a law enforcement officer who
suspects you of driving under the influence. Refusal to comply
with your implied consent agreement will result in the
suspension of your license for a period of one year for a first
refusal and eighteen months for each additional refusal.
Are seatbelts dangerous if I am knocked out in a traffic
accident and my car catches on fire or goes into a canal?
If you are knocked out in a traffic crash, you aren't going to
be able to free yourself from the car anyway. Remember, less
then 1% of all accidents involve water or fire.
There are actually three collisions which occur whenever you are
in a vehicle crash. The first impact occurs when the body of
your vehicle collides with another object. The second collision
occurs when your body, inside of the vehicle, continues to
travel at the speed of the vehicle prior to impact, and strikes
another object within the vehicle... such as a steering wheel.
The third impact occurs when the organs within your body, which
are also traveling at the same rate of speed that your vehicle
was originally traveling, impact the skeletal system. The use of
a seatbelt helps spread out the impact of a crash across the
body and lessens the effects of the second two crashes within
What are the legal parameters for use of a child restraint seat?
Florida Statute 316.613 mandates that every operator of a motor
vehicle, while transporting a child, must provide protection of
the child by properly using a crash-tested, federally approved,
child restraint device.
BIRTH THROUGH THREE (3) YEARS- separate federally-approved
FOUR (4) THROUGH FIVE (5) YEARS- separate federally-approved
carrier or seat belt
This is a primary enforcement effort, so you can be pulled over
solely for this traffic violation
Why do I sometimes see police cars parked on the curb outside of
Police officers frequently park their patrol vehicle on the curb
next to a business because of the possibility that they may have
to take someone at that location into custody. Subsequently, a
walk across the parking lot would increase the opportunity for
escape, gives the "bad guy" more of an opportunity to assault
the officer, and increases the possibility of injury to the
officer or suspect by vehicular traffic. Departmental policy
authorizes this practice when an officer is acting in their
official capacity and regular parking is not practical.