Drivers’ Education Now Includes Traffic Stop Etiquette

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Drivers’ Education Now Includes Traffic Stop Etiquette

According to a new bill recently passed by the Louisiana State House, drivers’ education courses will now be required to include lessons on the proper traffic stop etiquette when being pulled over by a police officer. The bill, introduced by Senator Ryan Gatti, focuses mainly on adding “appropriate driver conduct when stopped by a law enforcement officer” to the required content for new young drivers.
Gatti notes that while police officers are regularly trained in handling traffic stops, there is rarely any attention given to a driver’s behavior. From personal experience in being pulled over, he remarks “I’m an experienced driver, and I was nervous, so you can imagine how a young driver feels.” In the long run, he believes that this instruction can help ease the tension between drivers and officers before inciting a potentially violent encounter.
For his part, Gatti has received considerable support from his fellow administrators as well as local officers. Sgt. James Anderson, Louisiana State Police Troop D spokesman, also spoke positively of the bill, noting its focus on safety and communication between officer and driver. Following the bill’s passing, Gatti also hopes to create a video tutorial that explains traffic stop etiquette to more seasoned drivers to avoid additional taxpayer dollars. In the meantime, he and other supporters of the bill emphasize clear and straightforward instructions when being pulled over by an officer: keep hands visible at all times, follow the officer’s direction, and tell the officer if you’re reaching for proof of your insurance in a glove box or console.
The bill proposal recently passed both the House and the Senate with no opposition and is expected to be signed by Governor John Bel Edwards. If in effect, the bill would then become law on January 1, 2018. However, according to the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles, 30-hour drivers’ education courses have already begun to make conduct changes following the bill’s premise.
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Melinda Martin

Account Executive

Melinda began her insurance career in 1985 with Alexander & Alexander where she received her Property & Casualty and Life & Health license. Since then she has worked at various agencies in the New Orleans area and in California as a senior account manager for Employee Benefit Plans.  While in California, she was also the Membership Director for the Burbank Chamber of Commerce. Melinda joined the AWS team in July of 2015.

Michael A. Seeling

Vice President

Graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a B.A. in Insurance Risk Management and is a graduate of Archbishop Rummel High School in New Orleans. He joined AWS in October of 2008 and has been awarded the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Certification (PPACA). Additionally, he is working towards his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Registered Health Underwriter (RHU), and Registered Employee Benefits Consultant (REBC) designations. He is also a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), National Association of Insurance Financial Advisors (NAIFA), and is an active member of the Fore!Kids foundation.

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