New law restricts how police officers start interactions during traffic stops

“Do you know why I pulled you over” will become a thing of the past in the Golden State.

A new law in California will restrict the way police officers interact with drivers during traffic stops starting on January 1, 2024. 

Police officers will no longer be able to ask “do you know why I pulled you over?”


Driving the news: The law,  Assembly Bill 2773, requires officers to state the purpose of the interaction at the beginning, instead of asking drivers if they know why they were pulled over.

  • The only exception to this rule is if the officer believes there is an imminent threat to life or property.
  • The law also prohibits officers from asking a driver’s race, ethnicity, or gender, unless it is based on their observation and perception.
  • Citizens will be informed of their rights regarding a traffic stop in the state’s driver’s handbook.
  • The bill aims to reduce pretextual stops, where officers use minor charges as an excuse to search for evidence of a more serious crime.
  • The legislation also aims to deescalate interactions between police and civilians to avoid confrontations.
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