A new Illinois law aims to teach drivers how to act if they’re stopped by a police officer. The Chicago Tribune reports that the measure comes amid increased tension in Chicago and across the nation over how traffic stops can go terribly wrong and turn deadly in the worst cases. The law targets the youngest and newest drivers, mandating that all driver’s education classes include a section on what to do during a traffic stop. The bill went quickly through the state Legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner last month. Democratic state Sen. Julie Morrison of Deerfield, who was a co-sponsor of the bill, says it’s more about commonsense than innovation. She says she hopes it protects both the driver and the office from the incident escalating.

I heard this on “Handel On The Law” this morning.

Police are on a hair trigger nowadays … with police being shot … and being confronted by a driver who wants to exercise their rights may not be the safest way to behave.

I was at a meeting yesterday and even fire police who direct traffic during fire department emergencies are being targeted by drivers who want to move forward even when the road is blocked by fire trucks.

It might be worthwhile for all states to adopt this training for new drivers and perhaps even for people getting their licenses renewed.

The training would help to de-escalate these situtations and prevent them from becoming unhappy incidents.

It is about common sense, but in today’s society, it needs to be legally mandated. I am not sure how it will reach the population most at risk that drives without a license and without respect for laws, but it is a start. It does surprise me that common sense comes from a Democrat in Illinois.

I’ve never had a police record, and am over 50, but I watch videos on what to say and do or not do if I’m stopped by police, just in case it ever happens again. I intend to be polite and peaceful in that event, but where I’m going, where I live, where I work, etc is no more a police officer’s business, then my knowing where they live, or where they’re headed too.

Perhaps someone needs to make a video that teaches the police how to behave.

Its called the police academy and is much more intensive than a video. The fruits are evident as police officers by a overwhelming majority do a great job and act with heroic virtue.

Proper manners can be lifesaving. Especially for CPL holders.

I think it’s a great plan. I do agree it may be difficult to reach those without a license but for new drivers it can’t hurt. Those who lost licenses after all once DID have them once.

I think it’s a good idea for people to know what they are legally obligated to do during as stop, but also the best and safest way to handle the situation if the cops don’t follow the rules.

The police have extensive training on what the can and cannot do. Those who act out choose to do so, betting on the public not being educated on their rights and their department backing them no matter what they do. Also, cops are armed who is legally right or wrong does not matter when one party is alive and the other is shot dead. During a traffic stop, the officer’s always right, even when he’s wrong. Later, when you’re still alive, you can file a complaint, and depending on where you live, someone may actually read it. It’s not fair, but it’s survival.

There are many of them who don’t do a great job, that is beyond dispute. To determine whether the majority do a great job we would need data, so please feel free to provide some to support your hypothesis. In my interactions, I have met many that will lie to try and get people to do things they are not required to do. They also tend to get very angry when people stand up to their bullying tactics. There is nothing worse than a government bureaucrat with a gun. Those bureaucrats really need to learn their place.

Sounds like a good idea, but until I read what the measures are, I won’t put a seal of approval on it.

… and not because of any thought against police, just that there ARE people intending to misuse their position of trust in every profession/creed- etc. I’m hoping it does not turn into a blind obedience type thing… that would be very bad for the nation. The whole notion this country was founded on was one in which the people had rights to protect themselves from abusing governmental thugs. It would be Pollyanna-ish to think there is no such thing as ‘bad’ guys in authority somewhere, anywhere. People ought have the right to be served AND be protected from corruption… AND vice versa- for officials and people placed in positions of authority and power to not be abused by its subjects. Yet, having a position of power is in itself is considered a dangerous role… I mean, look, our popes have had a popemobile for their safety for that very reason. If one gets a position of power, its kind of a given you’ve become a potential target- Our Lord Jesus Christ even knew and experienced that too… SO whether you are a good or bad person, danger always comes with that territory. (Sad fact of life)

Having said that, it is good that people know what is expected of them from authorities… so I do hope that it works.

I do believe the violence we are seeing lately has to do not so much with ‘racism’ as it does societal expectations being different. I hope this doesn’t sound judgemental, but in some sections of the city, drug use is so rampant it truly is like an accepted way of life, so much so that for someone who is young, getting pulled over for it seems so extreme and confusing as “everyone else is doing it” nor did they ever grow up with people telling them its against the law. They maybe had a clue or an insight, but its such a common thing that is done its not even thought of as ‘bad’. That’s the sad reality of it. People just don’t share the same expectations of how one should or should not behave/act. Its not a race thing at all, but more of a culture clash. In general, people of the same race tend to associate together, therefore it can seem like a race thing, but its NOT. Its just easier to blame race because its the difference most clearly outright seen.

I really do not know how one culture can tell another culture that is it ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’. Education is about the only hope I see for change. When people know better, they do better… usually.

Some good videos.

Are the police racist:

Police brutality motion graphic:

Less than .1 % of all police contacts result in a complaint, only approximately 8% of those complaints are found to have any basis. So less than .008% of police contacts result in a complaint that can be considered to be based on anything.

Does it also educate drivers about their rights during a traffic stop?

The best data collection I could find on how happy people were related to police contact is from the Bureau of Justice. It seems the the majority of people who have contacts with the police believed the police acted appropriately. Here is the brief of their report:

WASHINGTON – An estimated 62.9 million U.S. residents age 16 or older, or about 26 percent of the population, had one or more contacts with police in 2011, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today.

Contact between police and the public was equally likely to be initiated by residents as by police. About half (51 percent) of police contacts occurred when persons requested police assistance, while the other half (49 percent) were police initiated, such as when police pulled over drivers during traffic stops or stopped persons in public places but not a moving vehicle (i.e., street stops).

The majority of persons with police contact believed the police behaved properly. In 2011, 93 percent of those who requested police assistance, 88 percent of drivers pulled over in traffic stops, and 71 percent of persons involved in street stops thought the police behaved properly during the contact. Regardless of the reason for the contact, less than 5 percent of persons who did not believe the police had behaved properly filed a complaint.

Black drivers (13 percent) were more likely than white (10 percent) and Hispanic (10 percent) drivers to be pulled over by police in a traffic stop; however, blacks, whites and Hispanics were equally likely to be stopped in a street stop (less than one percent each). Among those involved in street or traffic stops, blacks were less likely than whites and Hispanics to believe the police behaved properly during the encounter.

About eight in 10 drivers involved in traffic stops and six in 10 persons involved in street stops believed they were stopped for a legitimate reason. Regardless of the reason for the traffic stop, a smaller percentage of black drivers (67 percent) than Hispanic (74 percent) and white (84 percent) drivers believed the reason for the stop was legitimate.

When the street or traffic stops involved residents and officers of the same race or Hispanic origin, the individuals were more likely to believe the reason for the stop was legitimate and that police behaved properly than when the stops involved residents and officers of a different race or Hispanic origin.

About three percent of drivers in traffic stops and 19 percent of persons involved in street stops were searched or frisked by police. White drivers involved in traffic stops were searched at lower rates than black and Hispanic drivers. During both traffic and street stops, the majority of persons who were searched or frisked did not believe the police had a legitimate reason for the search.

An estimated 31.4 million persons, or one in eight U.S. residents, requested assistance from police at least once in 2011, most commonly to report a crime, suspicious activity or neighborhood disturbance. The majority of persons who requested police assistance in 2011 thought the officers spent an appropriate amount of time with them during the contact (93 percent) and were helpful (86 percent). About nine in 10 reported that they were just as likely or more likely to contact the police again for a similar problem.

A larger percentage of persons reporting noncrime emergencies (91 percent) than persons reporting crimes or neighborhood disturbances (82 percent) were satisfied with the police response. Similar percentages of whites, blacks and Hispanics who reported a crime or neighborhood disturbance thought the police were helpful. Among persons who reported a noncrime emergency, blacks (83 percent) were less likely than Hispanics (96 percent) or whites (94 percent) to think the police were helpful.

Other findings include―

In 2011, there were small racial differences in the percentage of drivers who were ticketed. A greater percentage of black (7 percent) and Hispanic (6 percent) drivers were ticketed than white drivers (5 percent).
About one percent of drivers pulled over in traffic stops had physical force used against them by police. Of these drivers, 55 percent believed the police behaved properly during the stop.
About six in 10 requests for police assistance involved face-to-face contact with an officer.
These finding are based on the Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS), a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which asked a nationally representative sample of U.S. residents age 16 or older about experiences with police during the prior 12 months.

The reports, Police Behavior during Traffic and Street Stops, 2011 (NCJ 242937) and Requests for Police Assistance, 2011 (NCJ 242938), were written by BJS statisticians Lynn Langton and Matthew Durose. The reports, related documents and additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ statistical publications and programs can be found on the BJS website at

Two facts I found most interested that the amount of involuntary contacts by race is that 65.2% were white while 12.4% where black, thus putting to rest the “stopped because i’m black” mentality.

Also I thought it interesting that of those who had force used in against them in a traffic stop (about 1%) that 55% of them thought that police acted appropriately. So less than half of those who even got in a fight that the police acted wrongly.

It should be noted that this is all based no survey results, not whether something was actually justified or not. However it is the most comprehensive information I could find from a official non-biased source. Seems like most police do a great job after all.

I agree.

I took my Driver’s Education in the late 1970s, and we were taught what to do in a traffic stop.

First, when you see the lights and hear the sirens, pull over to the side of the road in a safe place.

Second, roll the window down get out your driver’s license and vehicle registration and have them in full view on the seat beside you, and put your empty hands on top of the steering wheel.

Third, be friendly and polite. Answer whatever questions the officer asks you, do whatever he tells you without making any sudden movements, and while always keeping your hands in view.

When he gives you permission to go, say “Thank you, Officer,” because he is doing his job, and keeping the streets of your city safe.

Don’t be belligerent. Don’t threaten him. Don’t make sudden movements, or act like you’re reaching for a gun. Don’t volunteer information that he hasn’t asked for - only answer the questions he’s asking.

I work for a government agency, very few of my colleagues get complaints filed against them. Does that mean that my colleagues all do a great job? Of course not. Similarly, we cannot say that cops do a great job just because their own internal affairs don’t find them guilty. Cops are government bureaucrats just like any other. They need to be held accountable just like everyone else as well.

The BOJ report I utilized was based on a survey of civilians involved in police contacts, not complaints. They did not even have to take any action like reporting it for their input to count, despite this the positive response even in involuntary contacts was very high.

Someone mentioned that in the US you keep your insurance docs in the glove compartment so when challenged you have to reach for them>

Here and in the UK we have the discs openly displayed on the windscreen so the police etc can see them clearly with no action needed on the part of the driver. I was also taught when I learned to drive, not to keep my other documents ie the policy , in the car as if it got stolen?

If the police are not satisfied for any reason you get ten days to take them into a police station,

But it is a safer idea?

What we are seeing now is the result of a couple generations of kids being raised without any respect or obedience to authority figures. This is shown best in schools, where teachers can’t discipline kids, students regularly make threats against teachers with no repercussions, and the entire educational process is wrecked.

So that mindset is now translating to interactions with police. People raised like this think they can dictate to the police how their interaction is going to go. And that is NOT reality. So the police have to respond to such threats, and sadly it has turned deadly because people are not respecting lawful authority.

Yes, I keep my vehicle registration card and insurance card in my glove box. Most everyone I know does this. This is so it is always with the car. In my state, driving without proof of insurance can result in your car being impounded, even if fully insured. All the states I am familiar with have a inspection sticker mounted on the windshield somewhere.

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