March 23rd, 2007 04:24 PM
Calling All LEO’s: Opinions and Thoughts Needed
I’ve read all of the threads on appropriate behavior and “Do’s and Don’ts” by drivers during traffic stops, but still need some guidance on this situation:
The driver is driving a RV – A Motorhome, with a vehicle towed behind it. Assume all equipment (lights, braking system, tires, safety chains, etc.) is in excellent order visually. The RV is 30 plus feet, not including the Jeep being towed;
License plates and tags in order – no “APB’s”, no MS-13 “Artwork” LOL;
The RV does not have a driver’s side door, but side windows at eye level or slightly above – a fairly tall RV
The driver’s window can slide open;
The windows in the coach part of the RV have fairly dark factory tint;
The RV is a heavy sucker, and wide, so it has to carefully and slowly pick where to pull over when you “light it up”;
The occupants have three loud dogs, two of a large breed “known” to potentially be aggressive (a Doberman and a GSD). The dogs are going to bark at you as you approach, cause it’s “their” home. The owners will have a difficult time keeping them calm and quiet, and will be appropriately embarrassed because the dogs are really love sponges but misbehaving nonetheless;
The occupants are unknown commodities as you approach because you have very limited or no vision into the RV on approach;
Are the “Do and Don’ts” essentially the same as an auto stop? E,G. Interior lights on if at night, RV shut down, brake set, hands visible, Drivers License, RV Registration, Insurance Card, and Concealed Handgun License at ready presented at window to await instructions?
The wife could move the dogs to the rear of the RV to quiet them – would that make you nervous, would you prefer to see her and then have them ask if you want the dogs moved to the rear? She has a concealed weapon license also……
As a new “RV” guy, not a LEO, and a new CHL, I understand the basic rules, but the RV scenario just looked a little dicey or spooky to me from a LEO’s perspective. I know you do not assume RV stops are harmless with loads of placid old grey hairs tree peeping on their way to the nearest National Park…..
I’m not looking for a discussion of state laws, reciprocity, or state “travel” legalities, but specific guidance on a stop and what you want to see and what you want to happen as a LEO.
Any recommendations and ideas? Thank in advance for the thoughts and ideas!
March 24th, 2007 01:21 AM
Now you got me thinking... I dont know that I have ever stopped a large RV. I have stopped plenty of semi's, buses and limo's. I guess if combine all those, and you got an RV.
I would like to see it go like any other traffic stop. I would probably approach on the right side, where the door is. Due to the dogs, the size of the vehicle etc., I think I would have the driver step out to conduct business.
Most LEO's are going to understand that the RV is no Miata and it takes longer to stop, and you need to find a place that you can pull over. There is a few more complicating issues when pulling over in a RV, I understand that.
As far as the wife moving about during the stop... I'm not sure I would even notice that, there is no way I'm getting on board that RV unless I need to. That would be a tactical nightmare when alone.
If I were able to see that, yes, it would make me nervous. My preference is that all people on board stay seated as they were when stopped. Personally, I dont care what the dogs are doing, its the people that make me nervous. I am rare in that thought though, a lot of LEO's would not like the dogs at all.
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