What should I do if my vehicle is stopped by a Police Officer

What to do if your are stopped

  • Stop your vehicle as far out of the travel lane as possible.
  • Turn on the interior light.
  • Keep your hands in view at all times, preferably on the steering wheel.
  • Wait for the officer to request your license and registration.
  • The officer will explain the reason for the motor vehicle stop.
  • DO NOT argue with the officer, if you think that you have been wrongly cited the correct procedure is to request a hearing through the district court.

Why did an officer stop me?

  • Moving violations are the most common reasons for motor vehicle stops. These include but are not limited to:
    • Speeding
    • Traffic light violations
    • Stop sign violations
    • Marked lanes violations
    • Failure to yield
    • Equipment violations i.e. broken headlight, taillight, plate light, and obstructed windshield.

Why did the Officer...

  • Why did the officer sneak up on my vehicle?
    • SAFETY.  Officers are trained to minimize the risk of danger to themselves and the operator of the vehicle stopped.  Many officers are injured or killed while making traffic stops each year.
    • AGAIN SAFETY.  Officers in the vicinity of a traffic stop will routinely back up their fellow officer to reduce the likelihood of the officer being injured.

Things you should know...

All operators are required to have in their possession their driver’s license and registration for the vehicle.  It is recommended that your driver’s license be kept somewhere where it is easily accessible.  The Webster Police Department strongly urges drivers not to keep their driver’s license underneath the driver’s seat.  As this is a popular spot to hide a weapon, an operator that reaches under the seat on a traffic stop will heighten the officer’s awareness and may change the demeanor of the officer until safety is again established.


Driving in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a privilege, not a right.  Although an officer can verify the status of your driver’s license if you don’t have it in possession, they are not required to; the burden of proof is on you, the operator.  You can still be fined if your license is in good standing if you do not have it in your possession.


It is an ARRESTABLE OFFENSE if you are an out of state operator and do not have your license in your possession while driving in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts regardless if your license in that state is in good standing or not.

Show All Answers

1. Why did it take so long for the police department to come when I called them?
2. Why do they ask so many questions when I call the police?
3. How do I get a copy of a police report?
4. Where do I pay my parking ticket?
5. Can I make a police report at any time of day and do I need to make an appointment?
6. Can the police open my car or home if I have locked my keys inside?
7. Does the police department do fingerprinting and when can I have my fingerprints done?
8. How do I obtain a firearms permit and when can I get one?
9. What should I do if my vehicle is stopped by a Police Officer
10. When should I use 911 (emergency) vs. 943-1212 (business line)?
11. How do I drop a tip either by an Email or anonymous phone call ?
12. How do I become a Webster Police Officer?