Blue lights swirl, headlamps flash, a siren sounds: you've just been pulled over, and what happens next is in the lap of the gods. Only, it's not: what happens next could depend on how you conduct yourself. So take advice from experienced motor lawyers, don't self-incriminate, avoid unnecessarily upsetting anyone in a uniform, and definitely NEVER say any of the following things when the police pull you over.
1. "I'll show you mine if you show me yours."
Don't be suggestive with the police. Also, be aware that should you be stopped, the police can ask to see your driving licence, insurance certificate or MOT certificate. But you don't get to ask to see theirs. If you don't have any of these available, that's no problem: you have up to 7 days to provide them at a police station – but don't be late – any more than those 7 days and you'll be breaking the law.
2. "Brake lights? Where we're going we don't need brake lights."
Yes, you do need them where you're going. Particularly if it's dark. Driving with faulty lights is an offence, and you may be issued with a Vehicle Defect Rectification Notice, which allows you 14 days to fix the problem. Alternatively, you could be awarded a CU10 and be fined up to 2,500 pounds with 3 penalty points.
3. "Speeding? Yeah, well, y'know that's just like er.... your opinion, man."
Hey, no need to be rude, Dude; police officers are people, too. And, besides, they're only doing their job. So rather than being antagonistic, be apologetic where appropriate, and helpful where possible. If you refuse to provide basic information, like a name and address, you could be arrested – but if you are polite and respectful, you may be let off with a friendly warning.
4. "Because I didn't leave enough for those G&T's?"
In fact, it's extremely rare to be asked "Do you know why I pulled you over?" The police are trained NOT to ask this question as it fails to present a clear reason for your being stopped and leaves them open to a sarcastic response. And no-one likes a sarcastic response. But should the question arise, simply be honest and open without incriminating yourself.
5. "Stop watching me! I can't go when you're watching!"
Yes, it can be difficult to go sometimes while someone's watching, but that's only natural. So if you're feeling at all nervous, take a moment to catch your breath, inhale and exhale calmly, and pull away only once you have plenty of time and there is a friendly gap in the traffic. There's no need to rush.