How to act in a traffic stop should come from parents first (Opinion)
There’s legislation back again that would require prospective new drivers to take a video lesson in how to behave in a traffic stop and what their rights are. It would be required as part of the licensing process. I’m not saying I’m against it. I just can’t believe we have so many awful parents that this is even necessary.
Do parents never teach children to respect law enforcement anymore? Long before I was old enough to get a learner’s permit I was taught other things about police by my mom and dad. I was taught they are the ones to run to if I were lost or in trouble. I was taught they may look serious because it’s a serious job but they are there to help me. Most important I was taught long before driving age that when a police officer tells you to stop, you stop.
Yes it’s different because I’m white. I admit that fully. But many good and decent parents of color who are grounded in the real world have taught their kids in painstaking detail exactly what to do in a traffic stop. Yes it’s sad it became necessary to do that and yes things need to change in law enforcement, but cops are overwhelmingly good and decent people just like those parents.
Now bill S2231 would make it mandatory to explain what to do in a traffic stop and, thankfully, what your rights are. Governor Murphy pocket vetoed this in the past. It’s back again and in the wake of the George Floyd case and attention given to the BLM movement I would be surprised if it didn’t become law.
President of the State Troopers Fraternal Organization Wayne Blanchard said, “Bottom line is it’s important that young or new drivers are given the ground rules from the start. But more important than the ground rules, they’re educated on what their rights are so there’s no misinterpretation of laws or something they might hear on social media, so that they know what their rights and responsibilities are so a traffic stop or an encounter with a police officer goes smooth.”
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So there’s no harm in watching a video as part of obtaining a license to drive. But we live in a world where schools and government are taking over so much of the moral responsibilities of parents I find it shocking. Children in middle school are required to take ‘character education’ where things like empathy are taught. If you haven’t tried teaching empathy to your child by the time they’re in middle school you’re a failure as a parent.
Thanks to all the failed parents out there we probably need the MVC to tell you not to run from the cops, be respectful and honest, and don’t do anything that could be perceived as a threat to an officer. It’s just sad that we do.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.