EDITORIAL: When stopped by police, stay in your car

We received some correspondence recently from a reader concerned about his treatment by police after being pulled over for a traffic violation.

When pulled over, he “jumped out” of his vehicle, to which the RCMP demanded he return to his vehicle immediately. Our reader felt the police overstepped their boundaries by demanding that he return to, and remain in, his car until instructed otherwise.

Our reader thought that legally, he was under no obligation to follow RCMP instructions.

That is false. According to Sec 123 of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act he could get a ticket for failure to obey police direction.

Even if it were his right, there are times when doing something strictly because you are legally entitled to do it is not the most prudent action to take. Jumping out of a car in an aggressive manner during a traffic stop would constitute one such situation.

Though they seem innocuous to most, traffic stops are ranked as one of the most dangerous things a police officer can conduct. Most times, the officer has no idea who he or she is pulling over, their state of mind, whether they are armed, or whether they are dangerous. By “jumping out” of a vehicle, it exacerbates the situation.

Our reader said he felt threatened by the police, who allegedly claimed they “could have shot him.”

He was rightfully upset at hearing that, which is what triggered the correspondence.

He is correct in saying that, considering he ws unarmed, had he been shot, the police officer would have been in the wrong.

But he’d be critically injured, if not dead, so everyone loses.

Not everyone likes the police, and most people who don’t have a long list of incidents, which, in their minds, justify their feelings.

Like them or not, most people can agree that policing is an unenviable and dangerous career. It involves split-second decisions that can forever alter their lives, and the lives of others.

Whether or not it is intentional, it is never a good idea to bait an officer into making a drastic decision.

At best, you can fight it in court.

At worst, you leave your next of kin to do the fighting on your behalf.

–Terry Farrell

Just Posted

Cumberland May Day Bean Dinner planned

Labour Minister Harry Bains as guest speaker at annual event

Draft plan for Union Bay coal hills remediation to be submitted this spring

West Fraser Mills is paying for the installation of an engineered membrane

Crowdfunding page created for family of Comox Valley man killed in Peru

A GoFundMe page has been created for the family of Sebastian Woodroffe,… Continue reading

Comox Valley’s living wage sees four per cent increase from 2017 – report

Advocacy groups say the Valley’s inflation rate was nearly double the provincial average

Peru authorities order arrest of two suspects in Vancouver Island man’s killing

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Third annual SD71 student inquiry fair celebrates Comox Valley students’ creativity

The creativity of Comox Valley students was on display at School District… Continue reading

Toronto sports fans come together in wake of van attack

Police probe Toronto van attack as details emerge

Prince William to be Harry’s best man

Prince William will be Prince Harry’s best man at May wedding

Humboldt arena memorial ring to be removed

Arena ring of tribute to Saskatchewan hockey team to be removed as summer nears

14 galaxies set to collide and form colossal cluster

Astronomers say this could be the largest structures in the universe

Unmarked police SUV with lights and siren on crashes in Nanaimo

Three RCMP unmarked cars involved in accidents in the same day in Nanaimo

Former Social Credit MLA dies at 88

Lyall Hanson was mayor of Vernon in 1981 and moved to provincial politics from 1986-96

WATCH: Officers recognized at 10th anniversary of anti-impaired driving program

Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 members in 2008 to the current 2,400

Police searching for escaped prisoner in B.C.

Ralph Whitfield Morris, 83, is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder

Most Read