WILLLINGBORO, NJ. (CBS) — Some 30 juniors and seniors at Willingboro High School had a sit down with New Jersey and Burlington County law enforcement officials. The topic of conversation? What to do if and then they are pulled over for a traffic stop.
Attorney General Christopher Porrino has been conducting these “Safe Stop” programs at high schools across the state. While he can and does require police to be trained on how to keep tensions down at a traffic stop, he can’t mandate drivers get similar training. But officials can get to young people when they’re just starting to drive.
“What we’re doing here is providing education to communities about how to help ensure that police stops stay safe and are routine,” Porrino told KYW Newsradio.
Some tips? Turn on the dome light at night. Open the windows and let the officer see inside. And don’t get out of the car unless instructed to do so.
Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina joined Porrino in the session and stressed the need for this type of informational program.
“On my first night as prosecutor, I actually did a ride along in Willingboro,” Coffina recalled, “and it really struck me about that moment when an officer approaches a vehicle not knowing what he’s going to see inside, the anxiety that that could cause.”
Both men are backing an effort in the legislature to mandate this training as part of driver’s ed in the state.
More information on the program is available here.