What should I do if I am stopped?

  • Stop your vehicle as far out of the lane of traffic as possible. Stay in your vehicle and turn on the interior light. Good lighting assists good communication. Relax and remain in your vehicle. If you leave the vehicle, you subject yourself and the officer to danger.
  • Keep your hands in view at all times, preferably on the steering wheel. Wait for the officer to request your license and registration.
  • Police officers are trained to ask for identification first, and provide an explanation second. Give The officer your license and registration then give him a chance to explain why you were stopped. Providing your documentation will speed the process. Remember, in most cases, the officer is in uniform, displaying a badge and name tag. You have the advantage of knowing with whom you are dealing. Extend the courtesy by presenting the requested paperwork without an argument. It makes sense and it’s the law.
  • Do not argue the citation with the officer. If you think that the citation was wrongly issued, the proper procedure is to request a hearing through the district court.

Why was I stopped?

Moving violations are the most common reason that a vehicle is stopped for. Some examples include speeding offenses, failure to stop at a stoplight or sign, failure to use a signal, or failure to drive within the marked lines.

License, registration or equipment violations are other reason a vehicle may be stopped by an officer. It is not uncommon for a driver to be in violation of the law without knowing it. Massachusetts motor vehicle laws are long and complex. Depending on the circumstances, officers may:

  • arrest the operator
  • issue criminal or non-criminal citations
  • give a warning for those violations.
  • Investigations often involve searching for a car in association with a crime. In today’s mobile society, criminals use cars to facilitate crimes. Your vehicle may match the description of a suspect’s vehicle.
  • Courtesy or safety concerns are other reasons an officer might stop your car. For instance, your trunk may be open, something may be hanging under the vehicle, or you may left something on your roof.

Why is there more than one officer at the stop?

Motor vehicle stops are one of the most dangerous situations that an officer may encounters during his job. For most departments it is standard policy for another officer to provide back-up. Remember, we don’t know who we are dealing with so we treat every stop with extreme caution. Stay calm, keep your hands visible, follow instructions and don’t lie or argue.

How should I leave the stop?

Even after we return to our cruiser we are still responsible for your safety. The officer will turn off his front emergency lights and leave on the rear ones. When it is safe to do so, pull out into traffic slowly and safely. The officer will follow you. Don’t stay and try to read the citation at the stop.

Do police officers have quotas for the number of citations they must write?


What does a warning mean on a motor vehicle citation?

There is no fine associated with a warning, however, should you receive three separate warnings within one year, the Registry of Motor Vehicles has the option of suspending your driver’s license.

When must I report an auto accident?

An auto accident MUST be reported when there is over $1000.00 in damages and /or personal injury.

How do I get a copy of a police report?

Come to the police station and fill out a “Request for Police Report” form available in the lobby.  You will be contacted when your police report is ready to be picked up.

How do I calculate my speeding ticket?

The initial 10MPH over the speed limit is assessed a $50.00 fine. In other words, there is a flat fee for the first 10MPH over the limit. Each MPH above the initial 10MPH is then calculated at $10.00 per MPH thereafter. In addition to the fines established relative to the speed traveled, there is a $50.00 assessment applied to the fine schedule which goes to a Head Injury Fund established by the state and a $5 surcharge.

Example: 46MPH in a 30MPH zone = 16MPH over the speed limit

Fine = $50.00 head injury fund assessment + $5 surcharge + $50.00 (first 10MPH over the speed limit) + $60.00 (next 6MPH) = $165.00 fine.

*MPH = Miles Per Hour

What if I call 911 accidentally?

Speak to the police dispatcher and just explain what happened and that it was a mistake.  There is no fine or punishment for accidental calls.  An officer will always be sent to physically check to confirm everything is OK.

Should I bring a civil motor vehicle citation to the police station?

No. There are two options after you receive a civil motor vehicle citation:

1. Mail in the fine to the registry with the provided envelope

2. Mail in the citation and request a hearing to contest the ticket

Can I have the Maynard Police Department tow a vehicle from my property?

The Maynard Police Department does not have the authority to tow a vehicle from private property.  If you wish to tow a car off the property you own or control, you must follow Massachusetts General Law chapter 266 section 120D.  A copy of that section and the required form are available on our forms page.

When can I get my property back?

If your property has been held or confiscated by the Maynard Police Department, you may contact Officer Petersen as to the status of it’s return.

What should I do with a firearm from an ill or deceased relative?

You may call the Maynard Police Department and we will take possession of the firearm and secure it for you.  You can also transfer the firearm to a legally licensed person using the Massachusetts Firearm and Transfer System.

Do I need a permit for pepper spray?

As of 2015 a permit is no longer required for pepper spray in Massachusetts if you are over the age of 18.  Individuals older than 15 but less than 18 years of age can possess pepper spray but will be required to have a Firearms Identification Card.

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