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Here’s Why Cops Tap Your Brake Light After Pulling You Over

If you see some flashing lights in the rearview mirror, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be downright startled. That’s by design, as those flashing lights are meant to get your attention. In a perfect world, those lights are merely telling you to get out of the way so a police officer or an emergency vehicle can get by. Other times, it means you’ve run afoul of the traffic laws, and you now have some explaining to do.

As AWM shares, those flashing lights are not the only thing that cops will do to get your attention. There’s the inevitability that you will be made to wait an eternity after your vehicle is pulled over so that the cop can run your plates. With all of today’s technology, you would have to imagine that’s a pretty quick process. Nonetheless, cops are trained to take it nice and slow to see if any additional information reveals itself once you’re pulled over and rattled.

Cops also have a tendency to awkwardly pull over on the side of the road to force other cars to drive by super slow. That serves the purpose of keeping the officer safe from other cars whizzing by, and it also makes you into a bit of a spectacle for passing motorists. That can lead your tensions to rise, and who knows what information may be revealed at that point. Once again, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that’s part of the responding officer’s goal.

One other trick that cops may use to get you off your game occurs when they finally approach your vehicle. Some cops will tap on your brake light as they approach your car, and this one serves two purposes. For starters, this is another tool to rattle your cage and see how you react. If you’re up to no good in the car, there’s a good chance you’ll be startled by the sound and the actions of the officer. The other reason behind this one is for the cop’s benefit.

In a worst case scenario in which a motorist takes off after an altercation with an officer, the cop has left some fingerprints behind by tapping on the brake light. Those fingerprints can prove crucial in any subsequent investigations. In short, if it’s just a minor traffic stop, stay calm and let the cops do their job. Follow protocol and you’ll be released with a ticket or a warning. Failure to adhere to that can lead to much worse.

Source: AWM
Photo: AWM

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