New law changes the way traffic stops go down in Alabama
A new law will soon change the way traffic stops are conducted in Alabama.
Traffic stops can be a nightmare - not just for drivers - but for officers as well. Tension grows the longer they last and reaching for documents is something many people fear.
But under Legislative Act 2017-242 taking affect August 1st, drivers will be able to store their registration on their cell phones; similar to the already existing law allowing drivers to store their insurance on their phone.
"It’s right here in your hands so once they tell you to roll your window down so far or whatever you do, do; just say hey here you go officer," said Teon Thomas.
Thomas says this will streamline traffic stops, saving a lot of time and preventing the potential for misunderstandings.
"As long as you let them know what you’re reaching for I feel like you should be ok," said Thomas.
But with officer-involved killings of black men leading the headlines too often, Thomas says people get overly nervous during stops.
"Some people, you know, blow it out of proportion, you know, they do too much," said Thomas.
Additionally, the law creates an opportunity for the driver to never have to reach in the glove compartment away from the officer’s view.
"He has no reason to say well I need to see this cause it’s right there in your face," said Thomas talking about police.
The new law has the potential to reassure both the officer and the driver.
Alabama lawmakers say this law also prevents officers from searching through the phone for anything other than the registration.
Altogether, this law could add additional safety for both drivers and officers, allowing them to remain face-to-face during the process.
"When they pull up, most people have their phone in their hand already, so like here you go officer, swipe through there show them everything to see, send them on their way, tell them whatever you need to. It saves another life, you live to see another day," said Thomas.