Former NJ detective: I’d rather have drivers turn interior lights on
A NJ bill is proposing that driver will face a fine if they do not turn on their interior light when stopped by an officer.
I'm sure NJ drivers aren't going to be thrilled with facing the possibility of another fine, but isn't it for their safety as much as the officer's?
To add a different perspective on the proposed bill, I was joined by former NJ detective, Eric Potts on the air to see what an officer thinks about this bill.
Potts pointed out that there is already a law on the books that would fine a driver if the officer requests that they put their interior light on and they do not comply. The only difference now, is that it would be mandatory once you are stopped by an officer to do so, not just at their request.
When I asked Eric if, as an officer, would he want a law like this on the books, Potts responded "I understand people thinking this is just another reason for officers to write another ticket. To be honest with you, not every officer out there wants to spend his time writing a ticket for pulling you over. If you're being pulled over and it's night time, I mean, it's officer's safety, turn on your light.
Potts also offered a funny take on how people have responded to him carrying a flash light up to their stopped vehicle. "I've had people ask me, 'Officer can you shine the light over here so I can see my credentials.' I'm thinking 'That's not what my flashlight's not for you to find your credentials, turn on your interior light, find your credentials, my flashlight is for my safety, so I can see what's going on and I can look where I want to look were I want to look with the flashlight."
When asked directly about whether he would rather have drivers turning on the interior light, "Personally I preferred it to be on so I can see what's going on in the car a little bit better. I mean, listen, we have plenty of spotlights and so on and so forth, but they don't light every square inch of the car, and neither do the interior lights but it helps. Any bit of light will help inside the vehicle, especially you know, at 3 o'clock in the morning and you're trying to see what's going on. I mean obviously an officer wants to see what's going on inside the vehicle, he wants to be safe."