Traffic Stops

Traffic Stop is Initiated



  • The police officer will signal for you to pull over by activating red and blue lights and possibly a siren.
  • Look for the nearest place to position your vehicle as far out of the lane of traffic as possible.
  • Generally you should pull to the right side of the roadway or to where the shoulder is wider, unless the officer directs otherwise.
  • Be sure to signal your move to the side of the roadway by using your turn signal.
  • Although you may not immediately know the reason for the stop, you still need to quickly and safely pull to the side of the roadway when signaled to do so.
  • You may have committed some minor traffic violation without realizing it.
  • There could also be some problem with your vehicle of which you are unaware.

Not sure the person is a police officer? Visit our FAQs page.

During the Stop




  • The officer will approach your vehicle, watching for sudden movements from driver and/or passenger.
  • The officer will most likely introduce him/herself and state the police department that he/she is with. The officer will typically identify the reason for the stop.



  • The officer may request your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. The officer may ask you to step out of your vehicle. The officer may return to the police vehicle or stay near your vehicle.




  • An officer may also need to further investigate his/her concerns. This may involve asking the driver and/or passengers to get out of the vehicle.
  • Sit calmly with your hands visible. Ask your passengers to do the same.
  • Avoid sudden movements which may cause unnecessary alarm to the officer.
  • Remain in your vehicle unless the officer asks you to step out.
  • Exiting does not assist the officer and may be perceived as a threat.


In the state of Indiana, if you are operating a vehicle you must have your license or permit in your immediate possession and you must give the license or permit to the police upon request.

  • If requested, give the officer your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
  • If you need to reach into the glove compartment or elsewhere, advise the officer before doing so.


  • In this case, follow the officer’s instructions. Officers are legally allowed to ask anyone in a vehicle to exit the vehicle. This does not mean anyone is in trouble. The driver and passengers should all follow the police officer’s instructions.
  • Do not be alarmed if other police officers arrive at the traffic stop. Police officers often stop to see if the officer needs assistance during a traffic stop.

Depending on the circumstances, the officer may have one or more of the following options:

Verbal Warning
Written Warning
Summons Ticket

Most traffic stops result in either a verbal/written warning or a citation for an infraction.

After the Stop



  • If the stop results in either a verbal/written warning or a citation, the officer will return your documents and tell you that you are free to go.
  • He or she may remain behind you to assist you into traffic.
  • Use caution when entering the roadway.
  • Comply with ticket or promise to appeal. Instructions will be on the documents that the officer gives you.

If you disagree with an officer’s actions, do not argue with the officer at the time of the stop. Comply and remain calm. You may seek an explanation from the officer’s supervisor in one of the following ways:

  • By phone at 574-631-5555;
  • By visiting the Notre Dame Police Department in Hammes-Mowbray Hall;
  • By contacting NDPD administrators staff directory page; or,
  • By visiting our Feedback page.