If you're nervous when you get pulled over by a cop, you're not alone. Even though you may not have done anything wrong, it's easy to still end up feeling guilty about something. Your jitters may get worse if you happen to spot the policeman walking towards you in the review mirror, only for him to suddenly stop and tap your taillight.
Why do cops do that? Well, he wasn't trying to bust your light so he could fill his quota of traffic tickets! He also probably wasn't expecting to hear a return tap from someone that you may have locked inside your trunk.
It may seem like just a little tap, but when an officer touches a taillight, it has more meaning than most people realize.
- Marilyn Caylor, LifeAspire.com
LifeAspire writes: "The ritual of tapping a taillight actually goes back to the good old days of policing the highways. Before the invention of dash cams, policemen were super sneaky with their tactics. But don't worry, they weren't crooked cops or doing anything illegal. In fact, these law enforcement officers were actually hoping to catch the driver or passengers unawares.
You see, it's not uncommon for people to try and hide their illicit drugs or guns right after they are pulled over by a cop. Tapping the taillight has the benefit of startling these criminals before they can finish hiding their stash of ill-gotten goods.
There's another reason why a policeman will tap the rear lights - it leaves behind evidence, and lots of it! Cameras weren't always as inexpensive as they are now. That meant most police departments couldn't afford to equip all their cruisers with a camera. Touching the taillights or the trunk meant that officers had forensic backup."