10 Mind-Blowing Reasons Why Cops Tap Your Tail Light When They Pull You Over

On this day and age, dash cams and other technological gadget have helped police officers in routine stops or checkpoint to find offending drivers. However, some cops still do the practice of tapping the tail light when they pull drivers over. If you’re wondering why they do this particular act, check out our list of 10 mind-blowing reasons why cops tap your tail light.

Leaving their Fingerprints Behind

First on our list of reasons, why cops tap your tail light after they pull you over is to make sure they leave their fingerprints behind. They intentionally do this to leave evidence on your car in case something terrible happens to them.

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Leaving fingerprints behind is a smart decision that cops traditionally do. Let’s say you’re out of your mind and you’re in a bad mood when the police pull you over. You’re so crooked that you decide to harm or kill the cop. You hide the body, but after some investigation, you’ll end up in jail. Why? Well, it’s definitely because of the fingerprints!

Tapping the Tail Light is a Police Ritual

The act of tapping or touching a tail light goes back to the humble beginnings when police officers started patrolling the highways and streets. Even before the invention of dash cams, tapping or touching the tail light is a police ritual.

Source: Mental Floss

Cops believe that tapping the tail light is a way to honor the officers that came before them. Even without a valid reason, they consider the act a ritual that is necessary to make the tradition alive. For some, it’s a ritual of passage where junior cops just follow their seniors’ tapping habit.

Tail Light Tapping is a Surprise Attack

Inevitably, cops are going to face some drivers with illegal doings, and this is where tapping the tail light comes in handy. Police officers touch on the tail light as a surprise attack. If you’re a driver with prohibited items or illegal substance in your car, naturally, you’re going to hide everything from a cop.

Source: Washington Post

The sound from the tapping of the tail light startles the driver who is trying to hide something. If this happens, the cops will notice some weird behavior from the driver, which he could use to suspect the driver of illegal actions.

Something Might Pop out of the Trunk

Believe it or not, another mind-blowing reason why cops tap the tail light of your car when they pull you over is that they suspect something or someone might be hiding in your trunk. I bet the cops would freak out if a ghost or a scary clown pop out of your car trunk in the middle of the night.

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If the driver is a criminal and he has an accomplice hiding in the trunk, cops automatically leave their fingerprints on the tail light while making sure that the trunk is shut. This strategic plan keeps the police safe from being killed and helps them identify cars that are driven by criminals.

It’s All About Strategy and Distraction

In some cases, two cops can pull you over in a checkpoint or when you’ve done a traffic violation. If you’re an offending driver, call all the saints to help you get out of the situation because you’re already doomed. Two cops are better than one.

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One cop will tap your tail light on the right side of your car, and as a driver, you’ll turn your head towards the right rear, allowing the other cop to gain tactical advantage of surprise. The other police on the driver’s side will speed up his pace on your window to check if you’re hiding something on your hands, laps or feet. This process is all about strategy and distraction to capture an offending driver.

Observation Skills at Its Finest

Police officers are professionals who study and train for many years to become what they are. Good at being alert and exceptional with their observational skills. They know if you’re just an ordinary citizen or you’re a suspect that is trying to hide something.

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When a cop taps your tail light, it means the beginning of the investigation. The police officer will observe every corner of the car trunk and will check if your car is stolen or someone is hiding in your trunk. If the trunk’s key lock has been punched out, it could mean a stolen car. If the trunk lid looks askew, it could indicate that an armed accomplice is inside the trunk.

Identify Cars on Flee

Another reason why cops tap or touch the tail light of your car when they pull you over is to help them identify cars at fleeing. Similar to the thought of leaving evidence behind, touching the tail light allows police officers to verify if the vehicle is the same car that got away from them.

Source: Life Aspire

There are instances that offending drivers flee even before cops can arrest them. The good news is that tapping the tail light as a routine act can help cops find the driver that they have attempted to capture. For police officers, offending drivers can run away, but they can always find them even in the depths of Neverland.

Stay Close as Possible

Cops undergo training in the academy. They are taught to approach vehicles closely. One of the most common methods they do is by tapping the tail light. This means that if a cop didn’t touch your car, the police wasn’t close enough.

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Training allows cops to enhance their skills. If they follow simple rules and apply it to their field of work as often as they can, they become better police officers. Police might tap your tail light out of habit but remember that the act could also mean they only want to apply their training – stay as close as possible.

Safety Comes First All the Time

Death is part of being a cop. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job-related fatality rate of police officers is among the highest of any professions. Therefore, it is vital that cops know how to keep their selves safe all the time.

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One method is through tapping or touching the tail light in a street or highway patrol. Touching the tail light keeps the cop to the side of the car and not directly behind it. This method keeps him out of harm’s way should the driver start to back up.

Increases Arrest Rate of Criminals

The last but certainly not the least of our 10 mind-blowing reasons why cops tap your tail light is that the act increases the arrest rate of criminals. Yes, you read it right! Touching the tail light puts more criminals in jail, making the planet a safer place to live.

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Many police officers believe that tapping the tail light is effective during routine stops. They claimed that this method had increased their arrest numbers of drug dealers, offending drivers, intoxicated drivers and those with prohibited firearms. If this is true, the world will indeed become a safer place.