Stopped by police? Do You Roll Down Your Window?
If you've ever been stopped by a police officer you know it's a nerve wracking experience. So before you're pulled over again you need to know your rights as a driver in Washington State.
YOU KNOW YOU'LL NEED TO HAND THE OFFICER LOTS OF INFO
First if you're stopped on the side of the road you're asked to stay in your vehicle and you're legally required to provide your license, registration for your vehicle and a proof of insurance. But does the law say you must roll down your window?
Well according to the Washington State Patrol there's no specific law in the state that requires you roll down the window.
Troopers say while it's not mandatory for drivers to lower their windows during a traffic stop, it is strongly encouraged for safety reasons. Troopers and Officers say they may need to tell a driver about important information about driving so a window rolled down will "ensure a smooth and efficient traffic stop."
THE QUESTION OF ROLLING DOWN THE WINDOW WAS RELEVANT DURING THE PANDEMIC
So what happens if you don't roll down your window?
Drivers still need to obey the commands of the Officer.
So when did this question of rolling down a window become relevant? Authorities say it started during the COVID-19 pandemic when people were concerned about getting sick. So the bottom line is while you're not required to roll the window down it's probably the best thing to do especially during a traffic stop. Police say if you refuse to cooperate they could break a window and remove you from your vehicle.
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Gallery Credit: Hannah Lang