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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Taxi cop explains what powers police officers have when stopping vehicles

Updated: Mar 3

In a bid to educate the taxi industry and enhance cooperation during traffic stops, PC Patrick Quinton, the Taxi Compliance Officer for Avon and Somerset Police, has released a comprehensive fact sheet detailing the authority police officers wield in various scenarios.

Emphasising the importance of public safety and effective law enforcement, the document clarifies that police officers possess the unequivocal right to stop any vehicle at their discretion, without the need for a specified reason. This measure is designed to facilitate routine checks and ensure compliance with traffic regulations, contributing to the overall safety of the roads.

Drivers are reminded of their legal obligation to comply when signalled to stop by a marked police vehicle. The guidance suggests practical steps to ensure a smooth and safe process for both the driver and the officer involved, including finding a secure location to pull over, using indicators or hazard lights to acknowledge the police's signal, and remaining inside the vehicle until approached by an officer.

Furthermore, in situations where an unmarked police vehicle signals a driver to stop but there are genuine concerns about its authenticity, drivers are advised to activate their hazard lights and proceed to a nearby public area, such as a garage forecourt or supermarket car park, before stopping. The advice given by PC Patrick Quinton aims to address concerns about impersonation and ensure that stops are conducted in a manner that safeguards both parties.


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