The Student News Site of Liberty High School

The Live Wire

The Student News Site of Liberty High School

The Live Wire

Help! I’ve been pulled over!

For many, being pulled over can be an intimidating, overwhelming experience, especially if it’s the first time. I had the pleasure of talking with Officer Monroe to get the inside scoop on teenage traffic stops.
Traffic stops are a common occurrence for police officers, however, it can be intimidating for young drivers.

Being pulled over is a big first for many teens. The flashing lights, passing cars, and anticipation can be very intimidating. My first time getting pulled over, I didn’t know what to do or expect. I vividly remember my hand shaking as I handed the officer my paperwork, only to be told that my parents needed to renew my car registration. Looking back, I realized how smoothly that interaction could have been if I had been prepared. 

I’m not the only one who must have missed a lesson in driver’s ed; according to a survey conducted on the Bolt Journalism social media page, around 61% of the 21 respondents have been pulled over, while only 48% were taught what to do when being pulled over. 

To clear up this confusion once and for all, here are some tips for your first run-in, or maybe your 5th, from Officer Monroe. 

1. Pull over as soon and safely as possible 

“The primary problem we see [with teens] is that they’re not pulling over right away. As soon as you see the lights you should naturally go to the right… even if you’re in the left lane, I would just head over to the right side of the road,” said Monroe.

2. Know where your registration and insurance are at.

While most teens have their parents take care of their registration and insurance, it’s still important to have it accessible in case of an accident or when you get pulled over. According to Monroe, this will make the process go smoother. 

“A lot of the time [teens] won’t have their information ready, and then we have to end up calling their parents,” stated Monroe. 

3. Most importantly, just be cool 

The truth is, the police don’t pull you over to be an inconvenience. In fact, the North Liberty Police Department usually tells you the reason they pulled you over right away. If you are being respectful, you can expect the officer to treat you the same way.

“It’s weird because traffic stops are so normal to us but it’s not normal to everyone else… So I try to remember that and be as nice as I can,” said Monroe. 

Q and A with Officer Monroe, featuring questions from our readers. 

Q: “What do teens usually get pulled over for?” 

A: “I’d say speed[ing] and being on the phone [while driving].”

Q: Almost never have I heard of my friends getting more than a warning. I feel like cops go easy on kids most of the time. 

A: “I wouldn’t put it that way, but nine times out of ten, if I write a teenager a ticket, their parents are going to pay for it. So that doesn’t teach them anything. If anything, I’ll have them call their parents… because the parents are going to be harder on them than I’m going to be.” 

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About the Contributor
Megan Quinn
Megan Quinn, Editor-in-Chief
Megan is a senior at Liberty. This is her third year on staff and she is the editor-in-chief for the 2023-2024 school year. She is involved in theatre, mock trial, speech, and city government. In her free time, she likes to watch video essays and try new coffee shops.