When Stopped By Police

Reasons For A Traffic Stop
The Wells Police Department is proud to have a very intensive traffic safety program in place. Each year, patrol officers effect between 4,000 and 5,000 motor vehicle stops. These efforts are put forth to help keep the motoring public safe. There are many different reasons why you might be stopped by the police, such as:
  • You may have committed a traffic infraction/offense.
  • The police may want to warn you about a potentially dangerous situation.
  • Your vehicle may match the description of one used in a crime.
  • You may have witnessed a crime.
During The Traffic Stop
Regardless of the reason, the officer needs your full cooperation. If you are stopped by the police, you may feel confused, anxious, excited or angry. Remember, traffic stops are very stressful and very dangerous for the officers.

Each year, numerous officers are killed or seriously injured while making what some people call routine traffic stops. Here's what you should do when an officer stops you:
  • Maine law requires that motorists pull as far to the right as practical and come to a complete stop on the approach of any emergency vehicle with emergency lights / siren activated.
  • Do not exit your vehicle unless asked to do so by the officer.
  • Do keep your hands in plain view on the steering wheel, so the officer can see them.
  • Do not make any sudden movements inside the vehicle, especially toward the floorboard, rear seat, or glove box areas.
  • If your license, vehicle registration, or insurance information are not within reach, tell the officer where they are located before you attempt to retrieve them.
  • Avoid becoming argumentative. Arguing will not change an officer's decision to issue a summons or a warning. If you disagree with receiving a summons, you can argue the case at the York District Court.
  • If asked to sign a summons, please do so. It is not an admission of guilt and refusing to do so is a an arrestable offense in the State of Maine.
Questions, Comments & Complaints
If you have a question about a procedure, or a complaint about the officer, contact the Department at 646-9354 and ask to speak to our on-duty supervisor. If you want to send a letter of compliment because an officer was particularly helpful or professional, you may send a letter to the Chief of Police.

Related Information
If you receive a traffic ticket and have questions regarding how to answer the summons, you can contact the Traffic Violations Bureau - Lewiston by calling 207-783-5422. If you received a criminal traffic complaint and have questions about answering the summons or a court date, you can contact the York District Court Clerk's Office by calling 207-363-1230.

Safety Concerns
  • Be sure that you and all your passengers always use safety belts. They do save lives.
  • Do not drink and drive. The Wells Police aggressively seek out drunk drivers to keep our roads safe. If you drink, use a designated driver.
  • Observe and obey all posted speed limits. Fine amounts are expensive and insurance surcharges may result.
  • Drive defensively and with courtesy for your fellow motorists.