KSNT News Special Report: Local cops expose what puts you on their radar

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Does your car put you at a higher chance for being pulled over? Local police expose the top ways you’re catching their attention.

We all dread getting pulled over — wondering if you’ll be sent home with a ticket or lucky enough for police to send you on your merry way. But, what causes you to get noticed by cops? Well, KSNT News went out and asked what you thought.

“I think, if you’re driving a sports car, that’s a red one, you’re going to get pulled over because it draws a lot of attention,” Driver, George McKnight said.

“I think drivers can be pulled over based on the color of their car and the type of car,” Driver, Liz Dobbs said. “Obviously, a younger person driving maybe like a sports car or something like that.”

So is this a driver’s myth or are there real reasons for drivers to steer clear of certain colors of cars?

“As long as there’s good lighting and we’re not colorblind, we will be attracted more to red,” Optometrist, Brett Oxandale said.

Oxandale said because of how are eyes are, red wavelengths are the strongest. So when you’re looking around, your eyes, just like cops, will pick up red colors a lot more than any other color. But does it get you pulled over more often? Well, KSNT News did some research to see if that’s true.

We found out, in Riley County, for instance, 2016 state stats show for registered cars in the last 6 months, 2,536 people drive red cars and 3,707 drive black cars. Two-hundred thirteen were pulled over in red cars which would be 8% of registered cars pulled over and 357 in black cars which is 10% of registered cars pulled over.

Police say color doesn’t play a role in getting stopped. However, having a red car wasn’t the only thing some Kansans thought would trigger cops.

“People would think the rims, I think the tinted windows because the darker they are, the more of a reason to pull you over,” Driver, Antoine Peebles said.

“You could be doing a lot of illegal things in a tinted car,” Driver, Gunnar Martin said. “That’s probably one of the reasons why people get pulled over.”

So, KSNT News talked to police in Riley County, Douglas County and Shawnee County to see is there’s any truth to this.

“People think they could be pulled over for a lot of different things based on media, movies…television,” Sergeant, Amy Rhoads with Lawrence Police said.

Local officers say add-ons like tinted windows are something to watch out for. And each state has a limit of how dark your windows can be. Here in Kansas…

“It’s 35%. So no less than 35% of light can get through the windows,” Lieutenant, Colleen Stuart with Topeka Police said. “So if an officer sees a really dark tinted window — that is a traffic infraction and gives them probable cause to pull over the vehicle.”

Other add-ons like under car lighting *is illegal if another driver can see the light bulb from underneath your car. Local cops say they’re also looking for drunk drivers, those who speed through yield signs, run red lights and tailgate.

“It’s truly things that there’s an ordinance for that we would pull you over for,” Rhoads said.

Other violations that will put you on their radar are: burned-out headlights, broken windshields, expired tags and being on your phone.

“We know that inattentive driving is the number one reason by which people get involved in a traffic accident,” Captain Josh Kyle with Riley County Police said.

So, what about speeding? Riley County Police said their policy is to only stop you unless you’re going five miles or more over the speed limit. And, getting a ticket is up to the officer.

“We’re not always out there to get them with a fine,” Stuart said. “We have discretion. And a lot of that does depend on the interaction between the driver and the officer.”

Stuart said more than likely officers are out trying to educate you so you can be safer drivers on the road.



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