Every day, our daily drive to and from work usually involves passing a member or two of the police force who is either there to direct traffic or to pull over the none law-abiding road user.
We’re sure some of you have been pulled over before to receive that summon, and equallly, some who have never experienced the encouter. Either way, it's best that you are always equipped with the knowledge of your rights, and how to handle the situation for the best and safest results.
Now, we aren't taking into if or not you've been guilty of breaking the law. This is purely a brief 'best-practise' recommendation, and a reminder of what you are entitled to, when dealing with a police officer.
Also, keep in mind that with certain cases of criminals disguising as police officers, this guide can also be helpful to reveal if or not the person you’re dealing with is legit or not.
Police stops you
So you’re driving along when suddenly, you are flagged down by what appears to be a member of the police. They could either be in uniform or declare themselves to be a 'plainclothes' officer. You’re uncertain about what to do next.
Well, the first things you need to do is ask to see his/her police authority card. The card comes in four different colours:
- Red – Suspended police officer. He has no authority to do anything to you.
- Blue – Rank of Inspector and above
- Yellow – Below the rank of Inspector
- White – Reserve police
Once they have confirmed that they are legit police officers, note down the officer’s name and ID number as well as the number plate of the patrol car or motorcycle.
Police questions you when stopped
At this point, the police officer has reached alongside your car and is requesting for your identification documents. What do you do?
Ask if you are about to be summoned (saman) and if so, for what offence. Upon proper clarification, you only need to provide your name, ID card number, driver’s license, and address for identification purposes.
Police asks you to follow them somewhere
What if these words are uttered, “Please follow us to the police station.” You’ve been asked to follow the officers but don’t panic! Instead, ask the officer if you are under arrest because if you aren’t, you have the right to ressist their request.
There you have it. A brief overlook on what to do when dealing with the police and your rights, we hope this will lead to a better understanding should you get pulled over next time but do try to be a good and safe driver to minimise that from happening.
(image sourced from PDRM Facebook page)