Every driver and commuter experiences an encounter with the traffic police. It is the job of the officer to ensure the law and order in a society is maintained. However, they might pull you over for no apparent reason sometime. In that scenario, it is pertinent to know your rights and what you should do when you face a similar situation.
Powers of a traffic officer
A traffic officer is empowered to demand your driving license and vehicle documents and impound the documents if deemed necessary or in connection to an offense. They give you an acknowledgement receipt or an impound slip in return. They hold absolute authority on the roads and it is your duty to obey their instructions. They also have the power to seize and detain your vehicle in the absence of proper documents. An officer in uniform also has the power to arrest you without a warrant if you are found in his/her presence committing an offense.
What to do when you are pulled over?
You must immediately stop your car when signaled by the traffic police and produce all necessary documents required. You may ask him/her the reason for stopping you; however, avoid getting into any sort of argument. If you have committed an offense you can explain it to the officer and kindly ask for a pardon. However, you are entitled to the following rights as well:
- Without a valid receipt or slip, traffic police cannot take away your driving license or any other documents.
- Police cannot tow away your vehicle as long as you are sitting in it.
- A male cop cannot touch or search a female who is not accompanied by a male.
- You can politely as for his name and batch number if the uniform does not have a name or the buckle does not have a number.
- The traffic cop cannot confiscate your keys or force you out of the vehicle.
- If you are arrested in violation of law, you must be immediately taken to the police station and if detained then be presented before a court within 24 hours of your detention.