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What are my rights when ordered to stop by police?

What are my rights when ordered to stop by police?
06-11-13 / Staff Writer

What are my rights when ordered to stop by police?

"Over the past few years there have been several attempts to communicate about the proper procedures to the public, but unfortunately these have been both unclear and sporadic. This new protocol has already attracted media attention, which will hopefully assist in getting the message out."

"While the protocol seems sound, what is critical to its success is buy-in from law enforcement agencies. Without the co-operation of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and traffic officials, it will not be sustainable. It could also create a situation where motorists feel more threatened," it says.

It stated that the main points of the new protocol when being flagged by police are:
Slow down to 40km/h and turn your hazard lights on

Place your right arm out the window and gesture for the vehicle to follow you

Proceed to the nearest police or petrol station - a well-lit and safe area

Call 10111 and try to get the registration number of the car following you

Inform the operator that you are being flagged down by a police officer and are stopping at a safe place

When you arrive at the police or petrol station, remain in the vehicle until instructed otherwise by an officer

The AA say it is important to remember when using this protocol in a real-life situation to seem as unthreatening as possible and should the police believe you to be responding to their wishes and not fleeing, there should be no cause for concern.

"However, if the police think you pose a threat or seem to be attempting to flee, the situation could unravel. Central to the circumstances is to always remain calm. It is potentially a highly stressful situation, so if you present a calm exterior, the officials will likely respond in kind," it concluded.

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