If police pulls you over
You think you know how a proper roadside check should look like? Not all the rules are so obvious. Not everyone knows that the police officer may use… a whistle, to issue the instructions.
After stopping a vehicle for inspection, the police officer must approach the controlled car and the driver should wait until that time with his hands on the steering wheel without turning off the engine. Almost everyone knows that. However, not all the rules are equally obvious.
Each call to stop may proceed differently. The driver may be asked to stop, eg. through a megaphone from a police helicopter! And while performing his duties on the road, the police officer has the right to enforce his commands with a help of a whistle. Remember, however, that the whistle cannot be the only form of issuing any command - the officer may whistle while giving signs with his hands or with a paddle.
You should know that the police officer may stop the driver with his hand, even if he’s using a bike instead of car, he’s riding on horseback or he’s simply on foot. But only on condition that he’s wearing a uniform, and visibility is good enough so the driver could notice such a signal early enough.
On the highway or other place, where stopping can be difficult or dangerous, the officer driving the police car may signalize the driver of the other vehicle, that he should drive after him. Typically, in such situation to the police officer turns on the blue light signalization. After the vehicle with such signalization you should drive up to the point where it stops. Especially on the highway it may require driving after a police car for several kilometers – to the closest car park or to the nearest exit.
If this doesn’t jeopardize the safety of traffic, a police officer may order the driver to stop in an prohibited place. Of course, in such situation you don’t have to be afraid that you’ll receive a mandate.
During a roadside check, a police officer can, for example, take a ride in a controlled vehicle. Such a drive will be made, if the officer wants to check the technical condition of the vehicle. It concerns the security-related issues in particular, such as the examination of the efficiency of the brakes.
If the vehicle threatens the safety of the traffic, or if it’s a serious threat to the environment (eg. If it releases heavy smokes, or makes a noise indicating a defective silencer), the police officer may confiscate the car. The police have the right to do so, even if the car doesn’t have OC insurance, or the driver doesn’t have the required documents. Stopping the car also takes place, when the driver is under the influence of alcohol.
The registration card can be confiscated also when the vehicle’s technical inspection wasn’t carried out within the fixed period, or if the car threatens the safety.
What a police officer cannot do
This doesn’t mean, however, that the police officer can do anything. During a roadside checks, the officer should thoroughly follow all the applicable rules.
For example, the police officer cannot just search the car without a justification, not to mention to search the driver or passengers. He has the right to do so, only if there is a reasonable suspicion that a forbidden act has been committed. When the search happens, at the request of the searched person the policeman is obliged to write a report.
A principle broke by the police officers pretty often is not ordering the driver to leave the car, when it isn’t absolutely necessary. Such necessity may occur, if the device for testing sobriety is installed in a police car, or if the police officer wants to show the driver the offense registered on video radar. In other cases, calling the driver to the police car is usually illegal.
We should also remember, that the policeman, if not in uniform, have no right to stop the car for inspection outside the built-up area. Both in the day and night he can do so only in built-up areas using a paddle, or a special flashlight.
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