MSA Star Kalkaska Sheriff Office
Traffic Unit


Traffic Unit

Deputy: Ben Hawkins

The Kalkaska County Sheriff's Office has one deputy assigned to traffic detail. This deputy is responsible for the enforcement of traffic and criminal laws on secondary roadways. This position is funded under a grant from the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

Red and Blue Lights

Why Do Police Stop People ?

There are many different reasons why you might be stopped by the police.

You may have committed a traffic violation.

Whatever the reason, the officer needs your cooperation.

You may fit the description of a suspect.

The officer might think you are in trouble and need help.

You may have witnessed a crime.

If you are stopped by the police while driving, you may feel confused, anxious or even angry. These are natural feelings, but remember, traffic stops can also be stressful and dangerous for the police officer. Each year, a number of law enforcement officers are killed or seriously injured while making the "routine traffic stop". Police officers are especially vulnerable during the hours of darkness.

With this in mind, there are things that you, as a law-abiding citizen, can do to help lessen the unpleasantness of the experience.

When Stopped By Police, Remember:

A police officer may pull you over at anytime for a traffic offense or police investigation.

When you see the red overhead lights and/or hear the siren, remain calm and safely pull over to the right side of the road.

Remain in your vehicle unless the officer advises otherwise.

Keep your hands on the steering wheel so the officer can see them.

Avoid any sudden movements, especially toward the floorboard, rear seat, or passenger side of the vehicle.

Do not immediately reach for your license or other documents until the officer requests them. Michigan State Law requires drivers to show their license, vehicle registration, and insurance card upon request.

If your documents are out of reach, tell the officer where they are before you reach for them.

If you have a weapon in the vehicle, promptly notify the officer of its location.

If the stop occurs during darkness, turn on your dome or interior lights so the officer can easily see the interior of your car.

The officer may issue you a ticket. If you feel the reason is vague or unclear, ask the officer for details.

Avoid becoming argumentative. Arguing will not change the officer's mind. If you contest the violation, you will have an opportunity to address the matter in court.

Be honest with the officer. If you really didn't see the stop sign or were unaware of the speed limit, let the officer know. Being honest about any situation never hurts.

Finally, if you receive a ticket, accept it calmly. Accepting it is not an admission of guilt. Your signature is usually, but not always, required.

What To Expect When Stopped:

Each situation is unique and the police officer must alter his or her response to fit the circumstance.

A Kalkaska County Officer:

Will provide his or her name and badge number upon request.

Will present proper ID when not in uniform.

Will tell you why you are being stopped.

Will only use the force necessary to affect the arrest of a suspect and to maintain the custody of the prisoner.

Will not search the body of a person of the opposite sex, except to prevent injury to the officer or another person, or to prevent the disposal or destruction of evidence.

Will only arrest a person for a crime committed in the officer's presence, or when the officer has probable cause to believe the person has already committed the crime.

Michigan traffic law requires that all drivers shall yield the right of way to emergency vehicles. Drivers are to immediately pull over to the right side of the road, stop, and remain in a stopped position until the emergency vehicle has passed.

Michigan's Safety Belt Law:

Michigan's safety belt law allows police to stop a motorist solely for not wearing a safety belt in the front seat of a vehicle. The law also allows police officers to stop a motorist if a child age 4 through 15 is not properly restrained, no matter where they are riding in a vehicle. The law also requires all children under the age of 8 to be properly restrained in an approved child safety seat or booster seat, unless 4'9" tall.

The child passenger safety law covers children up through age 15. Children from birth through age 8 must be in a child safety seat or booster seat, unless 4"9" tall. Children who are 8 years old but less than 16 years old must use a safety belt in all seating positions.

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