Gov. McAuliffe signs bill requiring lessons on traffic stop interactions during drivers ed

Posted at 10:56 AM, May 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-08 19:51:59-04

HAMPTON, Va. - What should you do when police pull you over? Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed a bill on Monday afternoon that is meant to help drivers answer that question.

The governor signed the bill during a ceremony at Hampton High School. It will require drivers ed classes taught at public schools to include information on what drivers should do when law enforcement officers pull them over.

The General Assembly passed the bill during its latest session. It was introduced by Hampton Delegate Jeion Ward, who says she was inspired after not finding a clear answer as her grandchild learns to drive.

"I knew that if we were truly going to keep our children safe we have to make sure we know what to tell them," she said.

Hampton Police Chief Terry Sult says drivers should listen to police and try to stay calm because the stops are stressful for officers too.

"You just never know what you're walking up on," Sult said. "There's no such thing as a routine traffic stop."

The lawmakers say the goal is that both the police and drivers will be prepared when the flashing lights turn on. "We really want people to be interacting in a positive fashion. Every traffic stop doesn't need to be a negative interaction," Sult said.

The curriculum is now being written and the law will take effect on July 1.