Speeding is the most common reason for a police officer to conduct a traffic stop, as tens of thousands of motorists are stopped each day for going too far over the speed limit, but it’s certainly not the only reason why police might pull you over. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at five of the most common reasons why police conduct a traffic stop other than because of a driver’s speed.
Reasons Cops Pull You Over
There are hundreds of different traffic violations, and many of them are broken by drivers each and every day. However, some violations are more common than others or spotted more easily by police. Here’s a look at five non-speeding traffic violations that are very common here in Minnesota.
1. Equipment Violations – Equipment violations are a very common reason for police to pull someone over for a few reasons. For starters, faulty equipment is dangerous and could make you a hazard on the road, so if an officer sees it, they’ll likely conduct a traffic stop. Also, an officer can oftentimes see an equipment violation from very far away. He may not be able to see that you’re speeding when you’re a quarter mile away, but he may be able to spot your broken headlight or taillight and have probable cause to conduct a stop.
2. Failing To Come To A Complete Stop – When the roads aren’t busy, a fair amount of people do rolling stops at stop signs. If you don’t come to a complete stop, you can be cited by police officers. This is an easy violation for an officer to park their car and watch for at a nearby intersection. Oftentimes they won’t have to wait more than a few minutes before someone rolls through.
3. Improper Lane Change – Another thing that police look for on the roads are improper lane changes. Again, this is something that is relatively easy to spot from a distance without any special equipment. If you change lanes without signaling, you might get a visit from the traffic cop.
4. Cell Phone Use – A couple years ago, Minnesota made it illegal for drivers to use a cell phone while they are driving unless hands-free mode is activated. If an officer sees you holding a phone to your ear or picking it up to send a text message, expect a traffic stop and a citation.
5. Failing To Wear A Seat Belt – A final violation that police look for in order to conduct a traffic stop is for a seat belt violation. Failing to wear a seat belt is a primary violation, meaning that an officer doesn’t need to witness any other infraction in order to conduct a traffic stop. It may not be the most costly ticket, but fines for multiple violations will increase and police can sometimes find other violations during the stop.
If you’re dealing with an arrest or citation for any of these road violations, or you need help with a different criminal issue, reach out to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm today at (952) 224-2277.