Wisconsin State Patrol Reminds Drivers of Traffic Stop Guidelines

Wisconsin State Patrol’s November Law of the Month reminds drivers of the guidelines to follow when stopped by law enforcement. Getting pulled over by a law enforcement officer can be a difficult experience, but following some simple guidelines will greatly enhance safety for motorists and law enforcement. State law (346.19) requires drivers to pull over immediately when they observe emergency lights approaching from either direction. Move out of the lane of traffic and stop as near as possible on the right-hand shoulder of the roadway.

After drivers stop they should:

  • Place the vehicle in park. Turn off the ignition and put the keys on the dashboard.
  • Do not exit the vehicle (unless asked to do so). At night or during low-light conditions, turn on the vehicle’s interior dome light. The officer will likely shine a bright light into the vehicle.
  • Place hands in plain sight, preferably on top of the steering wheel. All vehicle occupants should keep movements to a minimum. Refrain from reaching into your clothing, purse, glove box, console, etc. to locate your license, registration or insurance cards. Wait for the officer to request such items.
  • When the officer arrives at the window, comply with any orders.
  • Be polite and patient. The officer may need time to verify identification, etc. If given a citation, don’t argue. There will be an opportunity before a judge or court to express any concerns.

For more information about the State Patrol Law of the Month, visit

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