Here’s what to do when being pulled over on a highway that doesn’t have shoulders

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions and shares tips about the rules of the road, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

Here’s the most recent question, Trooper Steve addressed: Where should I go when getting pulled over on the highway when there are no shoulders to stop on?

“Getting pulled over anywhere can be pretty stressful,” Trooper Steve said. “Add in a major highway, construction everywhere and no shoulders of the roadway, and that can add in a lot more stress.”

Trooper Steve said the safest thing you can do while getting pulled over is to know where exactly to stop.

“Over the years, I have seen it time and time again where a violator will simply stop in a travel lane,” he said. “I can speak for most traffic units and tell you that is not where an officer wants you to stop.”

Using the scenario above, how do you remedy the situation?

“If you’re traveling down the highway and suddenly notice you are being pulled over, the first thing to do is to relax. If you’re on the highway, chances are you’re already traveling at a high rate of speed.  Go ahead and begin to move to the right, activating your turn signal, which does two things,” Trooper Steve said. “One, it tells other drivers you’re changing lanes, and two, it let’s the law enforcement officer know you see them and are doing your best to yield to their emergency lights.”

If there are no shoulders in the specific area, what do you do next?

“Continue to merge right, and ultimately you might have to exit the highway,” Trooper Steve said. “Although this might not be what you want to do, this is not only the safest thing for the officer, but also for you and everyone in your car.”

The key is visual communication between you and the officer trying to stop you.

“Do not suddenly accelerate your speed,” Trooper Steve said. “Slow down just a little bit, ensure you use your turn signals and, most importantly, don’t do anything evasive with your vehicle.”

Once you’ve reached an exit ramp, chances are that there is a paved or soft shoulder for you to stop your vehicle. If not, activate your hazard lights and try to see where the officer wants you to go.

At the end of the day, we have achieved exactly what that law enforcement officer wants you to do, stop the car and do it safely.

If you have a question for Trooper Steve, submit it here.

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