Seeing a cop car pull up behind you is never a fun experience. However, it’s important to be prepared for what to do if you are pulled over. For truckers, this is even more essential since there are additional regulations you will need to follow.
Here are some tips for what to do if you’re pulled over as a trucker:
1. Keep Your Documents Organized
This is a preventative step that you should take before you are pulled over and it can help you avoid any issues. Make sure that all essential documents are organized and easily accessible from the front seat of your truck. Some documents to be aware of include your commercial driver’s license (CDL), Department of Transportation (DOT) physical certificate, and the bill of lading for your load.
While your essential documents should be easily accessible, you should wait to actually retrieve them until the law enforcement officer asks for you to do so.
2. Pull Over As Soon As You Can Safely Do So
Once you notice the law enforcement officer is pulling you over, you should move your vehicle to the side of the road as soon as you are able to do so safely. Keep in mind your safety and the safety of the officer when stopping, and also avoid impeding the flow of traffic. Due to the large size of semi-trucks, this can be more complicated. If there is an off-ramp or paved area, this is generally the best place to stop. Avoid stopping on a soft shoulder, because your vehicle may get stuck.
3. Keep Your Seatbelt On
Keep your seatbelt on even after you’ve stopped the vehicle. If the officer sees that you are not wearing it, they may give you a ticket. Having additional fines and violations on your record is never a good thing, and this simple step can help you avoid at least one possible issue.
4. Be Polite
This tip is the same whether you are pulled over in a semi-truck or a standard passenger vehicle. It’s important to be polite and courteous to the law enforcement officer throughout the stop. Even if you are annoyed at being stopped, stay calm and remember that the officer is just doing their job.
Avoiding Getting Pulled Over
While it’s helpful to know what to do if you are pulled over, it’s best to avoid this situation in the first place. You can do this by driving safely and following all traffic regulations. Maintain a safe speed and sufficient following distance, and keep up with your pre-trip inspections to avoid citations for mechanical issues.
Become a DSW Trucker
If you’re a safe driver and want to earn competitive pay and benefits, DSW is currently hiring. We have both regional and over-the-road (OTR) routes available.