Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Vehicle Code and Stops

Civilian vehicles equipment is heavily regulated by the government. The Federal government and state governments determine things like the height of a bumper or the permissible window tint. Know your vehicle code and you have probably cause to pull over all kinds of vehicles doing all kinds of things. In California, we can stop any vehicle as long as we have probable cause a crime has been committed, the stop must be objectively reasonable. So if we see the car fail to stop for a stop sign, or if we see a required light is burned out, we can stop the car. If the car matches the description of a wanted vehicle, we can stop the car.

The more you know about the vehicle code, the more opportunities you have to stop cars, because the more potential violations there are you can observe and cite. Just because you stop a car does not mean you have intend to write them a ticket, you are simply investigating and can determine what course of action you will take once you have stopped the vehicle and spoken to the driver.

Having a firm legal basis in a traffic stop is the first step in a successful prosecution. Many times officers have come upon drug smugglers, people with warrants, and even serial killers and were able to make an arrest as a result of a traffic stop. The Oklahoma City Bomber was arrested during a stop due to a loose license plate. Learn the vehicle code, that's what the SGT Says.

6 comments:

Texas Ghostrider said...

know your city codes too! Have written warnings, if you don't write a finable write a written warning because eventually when you go to court a good defense attorney will start questioning your stops and it is always good to have your stops documented.

Bob G. said...

Sarge:
Used to be a time (back in Philly) when it was perfectly OK to pull a car over for being "too high" in the ass-end (lowered suspension).

Used to use the night-stick as a "measuring tool".
Today, I know the "neons" are frowned upon (certain colors banned outright0, but city departments have become too "tolerant" when it comes to WINDOW TINT.

That poses both a threat to the driver (at night when they can't see "jack"), and to the officer who approaches the vehicle for a typical traffic stop.

Not everyone lives in AZ (it might be needed), where the dashboard bubbles up in the daytime, so WHY should such DARK tint be allowed elsewhere?

Also...the LARGE rims (donks, boxes and bubbles as the locals call them) change the geometry of a vehicle (center-of-gravity) and can lead to premature parts failure, inability to navigate properly, and so on.

Again, too many departments are way too tolerant of this.

And I won't EVEN get into the loud-ass stereos (the acoustic terrorists), that seem to only get thier wrists slapped again and again.
(that's what MY blog is for...lol)

Laws are written for the LAW-LESS, right?
Maybe it's time to get ALL departments on the same page (like those that DO enforce the laws).
But hey, that's just *my* opinion from what I see and hear daily in my blighted part of Ft. Wayne.
(and people wonder what the "broken window" theory is all about...heh)

Good post and advice as usual.

Stay safe.

Bunkermeister said...

TG, good advice. A lot of stops with few citations is not a good idea. Our dispatch tracks the outcome of stops, warnign, cited, etc.

Bunkermeister said...

Bob, local police give local people control of what they will tolerate in their community. I do agree on aggressive enforcement of whatever local laws there are in place.

Protect_and_Serve said...

I love it when the first words out of Joe Citizen's mouth is "Did I do something wrong?" No genius, I stopped you to tell you what a great driver you are.

Bunkermeister said...

The police stopped me for no reason. Sure.