Most people want to do all that they can to fly under the radar of police regardless of whether they are breaking the law or not. But could some vehicles, because of their color, attract more unwelcome attention from law enforcement than others?
It appears to be so. In comparing statistics from law enforcement agencies around the United States, it seems as if those driving red cars are disproportionately stopped by police. While white cars also attract police attention, there are far more white cars on the road than red.
The reason behind the increased scrutiny
Of all the colors on the spectrum, red is the one that tends to command the most attention. That’s why so many companies incorporate a vibrant shade of red into their logos. Red is symbolic of intensity, energy and excitement. Red can even increase blood pressure, as opposed to a calming green or blue.
It’s possible to assume from these associations that a red car is a fast vehicle that may be driven by a risk-taker — even a law-breaker. Whether that is true is less important than that it might be part of a law enforcement officer’s unconscious thought processes when scrutinizing approaching traffic.
So, yes, a patrolling officer’s eye may be unintentionally directed to a red car passing through a nearby intersection. If that driver happens to be impaired by alcohol, drugs or even over-the-counter (OTC) medications, the traffic stop could escalate and end in an arrest.
Police need probable cause
Of course, no officer can simply just stop all the red cars they see for no reason. There has to be an underlying reason for the traffic stop or any charges arising from the traffic stop can later be tossed out in court. But once a car is on the police officer’s internal radar, it is that much easier to direct the actual radar gun at them and determine they were speeding. Or, in some cases, a secondary glance might show an unbelted driver or unrestrained child, both of which could necessitate a traffic stop.
Know your rights after a traffic stop
A traffic stop can quickly go south for all sorts of reasons. Your goal should always be to end the interception as quickly as possible without incurring any tickets or charges. Always remember that you have the right to remain silent and do not have to answer questions about where you have been or where you are headed.
Learning more about your rights after a traffic stop can help you establish your criminal defense to any charges that might arise from the stop.