You may be the safest driver in the world, but there’s still a chance you may be pulled over by a cop. When that happens, it helps to know how to handle yourself. Being at the wheel of a big RV doesn’t give you a pass. You still have to follow all the traffic rules. And though every situation is different, there are some definite do’s and don’ts when the police stop you.
Lights in Your Rearview Mirror? Here’s What NOT to Do
It takes just a few seconds for an officer to step out of their patrol car and walk toward your RV. A lot of thoughts can race through your head in that time. Hopefully, you can use this brief time to remind yourself to stay calm and be as cooperative as possible. We’re not here to give you legal advice, but here are some things we suggest not doing in that situation.
Don’t Ask Them If They’ve Got Better Things to Do
This is just like asking for a ticket. Nobody likes a smart aleck, and especially not cops. Being courteous and polite toward a police officer can go a long way. Sarcasm, on the other hand, can land you in some serious hot water.
Don’t Fake Cry
Also, keep in mind that an experienced law enforcement professional has pretty much seen and heard it all. Chances are good that they can see right through your tears, so don’t bother turning on the waterworks. Fake crying will probably only agitate the situation further.
Don’t Be Self Important
This one rarely works, even for celebrities. The officer probably doesn’t know who you are, and they probably don’t care. Don’t try and impress your way out of a ticket. It’s better to try your case in court, if you have to, than on the side of the road.
Don’t Say That You’re in a Hurry
Being “in a hurry” is never a valid excuse, even if you were just a few clicks over the speed limit. It’s better to say nothing at all instead of making this excuse.
When you do speak, tell the truth. Officers receive training on how to detect if someone’s lying or being evasive. And let’s face it: A veteran cop has heard all the excuses before. You’re not going to get any points for originality, but honesty may earn you some.
How to Prevent Getting Pulled Over in Your RV
What you say or do (or don’t say or do) can work in your favor. A better strategy, of course, is to avoid a police stop, but some things are out of your control. You’re a big target out there, but there are some sensible things you can do to stay under the radar.
Follow the Flow of Traffic
Don’t stick out like a sore thumb. Get in the groove of the prevailing traffic pattern and go with the flow. Sometimes, the traffic might move slightly over the speed limit, but that’s OK if it means safer cruising. It’s far more dangerous to stubbornly stick to the limit (or below it), causing other motorists to pass you constantly.
Make Sure You’re Hooked Up Correctly
If your trailer is bouncing up and down or swaying wildly, it’s a serious danger. It will also catch the eye of the police. Before you head out on the open road, double-check that all your connections are tight and secure. This goes for all your lights and turn signals, too. Make sure they’re working properly before you pull out into traffic.
Don’t Drive When You’re Tired
If you lose concentration behind the wheel, even for a second, you could start drifting. An officer who sees you swerving toward the shoulder or into the other lane is going to flash those blues. Make sure you’re rested and alert when you’re in the driver’s seat. If not, pull over and sleep or switch drivers.
Wear Your Seatbelt
Yes, they can be uncomfortable, but safety belts save lives. They can also save you the hassle of a ticket. An officer can easily see whether you’ve put on your seatbelt. Don’t give them that opportunity.
Do RVs Get Pulled Over More than Regular Vehicles?
There’s no evidence to suggest that the police stop RVers more than other motorists. In fact, it’s more likely that the opposite is true. Police may sometimes look the other way because they know it’s hard for an RV driver to pull over quickly.
That doesn’t mean you’re immune from getting stopped. The police also know that there are more RVs on the roads now than ever. This means lots of newbies who might need a reminder to play it safe.
Maybe you’ve never had a close encounter with the police, but we all know there’s a first time for everything. When that time comes, watch what you say and do so you don’t worsen a bad situation. Have the police ever stopped you while you were RVing? What did you do?
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