A new law going into effect next week will require California cops to immediately state the reason for a traffic stop before asking the driver any questions.
Assembly Bill 2773 introduced by Assembly member Chris Holden will go into effect on January 1, 2024.
Many traffic stops begin with the officer questioning, “Do you know why I pulled you over?” However, under the new law, the officer will be required to inform the driver of the reason for the traffic stop at the beginning of the interaction prior to any other questioning.
From the text of the legislation:
This bill would, beginning on January 1, 2024, require a peace officer making a traffic or pedestrian stop, before engaging in questioning related to a criminal investigation or traffic violation, to state the reason for the stop, unless the officer reasonably believes that withholding the reason for the stop is necessary to protect life or property from imminent threat. The bill would, beginning on January 1, 2024, require the officer to document the reason for the stop on any citation or police report resulting from the stop.
Under the new law, law enforcement agencies will also have to track and report on the reasons for traffic stops.
The new law is designed to protect drivers in California from “pretext stops,” a practice in which a law enforcement officer uses a minor traffic violation as a pretext to stop a vehicle in order to investigate other possible crimes.