Uh oh, are those flashing lights coming up behind you for you? It's nice when you move over and the officer flies by, but when they follow you as you move over it sucks even though you may deserve it.

Luckily, I received a warning after I was pulled over. However before that happened, as the officer was approaching my car, I noticed he touched my trunk and lingered for an extra second before coming to my window.

Obviously, I was curious about this deliberate act so after he ran my plates and returned with that warning, I asked him why he did this. He gave me enough of a rundown that I decided to do some more research.


According to Reader's Digest, it's either the trunk or the tail light that most officers touch at each traffic stop.  This is purely for the safety of the officer.

They're literally leaving their fingerprint on the car so if something happens during the traffic stop that leaves them incapacitated or in trouble, there's evidence they were there.  Even with body cams and street cameras, it's still routine for many officers to practice this maneuver that dates back decades.


Meanwhile, the website MotorVerso says this is also done to ensure the trunk is closed and latched so as to avoid the slight chance that there's someone in there who will jump out and attack the officer or flee during the stop.


According to MotorVerso, this pause by the police officer also allows time to see if the driver makes any movements that appear to be concealing something, reaching for something, or simply trying to put on their seatbelt.

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Overall, this is about the initial body language of the driver and any passengers, again, for officer safety and awareness. Police officers receive special training to help them interpret body language, including during traffic stops.

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