Traffic Safety

Traffic Stop Information


Q. Why do officers appear slow and cautious when approaching my vehicle and why do they shine their squad lights and flashlights into the car?

A. Officers are trained to tactically and safely approach vehicles to minimize their exposure to traffic on the roadway and potential danger from inside the stopped vehicle.

Q. Why do other officers and squads show up when I am pulled over for a traffic offense?

A. It is common for officers to back each other up, even when not requested to do so. This is another safety consideration for officers. Some squads may be field training units or special assignment two officer squads, thereby increasing the appearance or presence of officers.

Q. Why do the officers sit in the squad for so long? What are they doing?

A. Officers are checking and verifying information about your driving status and vehicle registration through a squad computer. Information access and availability is sometimes delayed. It also takes some time to accurately complete any paperwork that the officer chooses to issue on the stop.

Q. What if I am stopped by police and carrying a concealed weapon and I have a Carry and Concealed Weapon License issued from Wisconsin?

A. Roll down your window and place your hands in plain view on the steering wheel. If it is at night, turn on your dome light. Calmly tell the officer you have a CCW license and that you have a weapon with you. Do not touch or attempt to touch the weapon unless specifically told to do so by the officer. Do not leave your vehicle unless specifically told to do so by the officer. In certain circumstances, the officer may ask to take temporary possession of the weapon or may seize the weapon during interaction with you to ensure their safety and the safety of others. The officer will return the weapon at the end of the stop unless an arrest is affected.

Q. Why do officers want me to stay in my vehicle?

A. Officers are concerned for your safety and theirs. Some motorists that have exited their vehicles have been struck by oncoming traffic. Inside your vehicle is the safest place you can be if you are stopped by police. Your cooperation is very much appreciated.

Q. What are the reasons that I might be stopped by police?

A. Moving traffic violations are the most common reasons for your vehicle being stopped. Another reason may be for an equipment or registration violation. A criminal violation may be another reason for being stopped or your vehicle may match the description of a vehicle that was involved in another incident.