Traffic Stop Etiquette for Driver’s Education


SPRINGFIELD — Driver’s Education teaches young drivers many things during courses, but HB785 aims to improve relations between police and drivers during a traffic stop.

On her last day of driver’s education, 16 year-old Georgia Phillips is looking forward to doing things on her own.

“I’m excited about not having to go with a parent and being able to get McDonalds when I want to,” Georgia says.

She knows to pull over for emergency vehicles, but one thing she has not covered in class, is how to behave when she is pulled over by police – something she has rarely experienced.

When asked if she had ever been in the car for a traffic stop, Georgia replied, “I think I have when I was younger, but not since I’ve started driving.”

HB785, proposed by Representative Gretchen Bangert of St. Louis, would make traffic stop behavior mandatory for driver’s education.

Daphne Greenlee works with the Driver’s Education program at the Mercy Injury Prevention Center. She says that while they do cover what to do when an emergency vehicle passes, they do not focus on how students should interact with police.

“It’s not something that we spend a lot of time on, if you get pulled over, what to do at that point. and so it’s definitely an area that we could see being beneficial to our students to take the time to learn that information,” Greenlee says.

Corporal Joe Daugherty is a 7-year veteran with the Nixa Police Department. He has advice for young drivers when they are pulled over.

“With any traffic stop that we do, until we get up there, it’s mostly unknown what is going on in that vehicle,” Cpl. Daugherty explains. “If you follow instructions, don’t make any quick movements, and you let them know what you are doing, it should be a pretty boring incident.”

Nixa Police made it clear they do not a have a stance on this bill. Representative Bangert tells KOLR10 it will be introduced in the Missouri House at the next session in January.

Until then, young drivers can educate themselves on the do’s and dont’s of a traffic stop at this link to the Missouri Highway Patrol Website.


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