During Routine Traffic Stops, Cops Always Touch The Back Taillight. Here’s The Reason Why

Updated December 12, 2017

No one would disagree that being a police officer is a dangerous job. Similar to how military service men and women volunteered to put themselves in risky situations to protect the country, police officers did the same to protect their local communities. And depending on what city and part of the country they work in, the job can be extremely dangerous. Police officers are forced to be constantly vigilant. If not, something could take them by surprise, and that’s not something any cop wants to happen. They’re trained always to be “on” so they can thwart the bad guy before he gets the jump on the police.

Traffic stops are part of a cop’s job. And no one likes to get pulled over. But if someone is speeding or violating other rules of the road, police officers are there to help keep other motorists and pedestrians safe from these dangerous drivers.

When we’re pulled over, we can either get mad at the situation or take responsibility for the fact that we did something wrong. However, drivers can become very furious if they feel that they were pulled over for no reason whatsoever.

To help protect themselves, police officers will often touch the rear taillight of the car they just pulled over. And they don’t do this lightly. It serves a very important purpose.

If you’ve been pulled over recently, you might not have noticed the police officer touching your taillight. Perhaps, your head was in your glove compartment searching for your car registration or your license. But the touching of the light is a precautionary measure that has nothing to do with you the driver. Instead, it is a way for police officers to protect themselves and to “mark” where they’ve been.

By touching the taillight, the cop marks it with his or her fingerprint. It serves as proof that they were at the location and becomes evidence that the person was pulled over for some reason. If the police officer ever goes missing, the fingerprint could serve as a clue.

Cops need to be vigilant to protect themselves from danger. They have no idea whether the person in the car could be carrying a weapon or have the intent to hurt them. By tapping the taillight, police officers mark their location and startle the person inside. This gives officers the upper hand.

But this trick may soon become obsolete. Because most police cruisers are not equipped with a dashboard camera, the video evidence offers proof that the cop pulled over a car. It also catches the license plate and all the action that unfolds. It is a much better way to protect the police officers who do the traffic stops. And evidence like this would hold up far better in court proceedings.

While this article might have told all the “bad guys” about cops’ habit of tapping the taillight, they have no way of evading the dashboard camera that is capturing their every move. Because technology has evolved, police officers are better protected than ever before.