Traffic stop while in Mexico? What to do.

Seeing those flashing lights in your rear view mirror is never fun. But when you are in another country? Way worse!

Tell it to the Judge

You may have heard this advise already – if you are stopped for speeding, driving through a stop sign, drinking and driving etc. do not try to resolve things curbside. Meaning don’t pay the fine to the officer. Follow the police down to the station and resolve things in front of the Judge.

This is especially important if you think that you really did nothing wrong. Specific infractions carry a set fine. If you think you are being taken advantage of, the true cost is listed at the station.

I mean, if you are stopped in the US, you will never have the option to resolve things that very day in front of a judge. The difference in cost for a fine in Mexico versus the US is dramatically lower as well.

“But it’s a speed trap”… and?

At various times, the local police will be out in force, pulling people over left and right. Maybe you rolled through this same stop sign a hundred times before, just like everyone. Maybe they stopped you while letting dozens of locals drive by doing the very same thing. Doesn’t matter. As an officer in Phoenix once told me, ‘I can’t stop everyone, but I got you.”

Do they stop the person who looks likely to be able to pay the fine, rather that the guy driving the 30 year old car missing a window with 10 pesos in the gas tank? I would.

For good or bad, Rocky Point has changed. Some of what is most attractive about being here has always been the sense of freedom, of having less rules to follow. That still is the case. Mostly. For example, I never thought smoking in a bar would be outlawed as it is in the States, but now it is applied religiously.

And don’t drive drunk. You used to be able to get away with it easily. As everywhere, better (and safer for everyone) to take a cab or let someone else drive.

Paying bribes

Most traffic stops are not attempts to bribe you. It is often suggested that you can resolve things by offering 200 pesos to take care of things right there. Maybe. But most of the police are not looking for the ‘mordida’.

The local Comandante of the Police Force, Marcos a Preciado V, has published a flyer with contact information to report a case of police abuse arriving from a traffic stop.

At a recent ceremony where Puerto Peñasco received 2 police cruisers from the City of Glendale, Mayor Ernesto ‘Kiko” Munro addressed the recent complaints against officer seeking bribes during traffic stops. He mentioned that the city continued t be committed to rooting out this behaviour. He pointed to the fact that in the previous year, there had been 9 official complaints filed, resulting in officers being fired from the force.

Make it official

The point here is ‘official complaint’. Comandante Preciado pointed out that he needs an official complaint to do anything for a bad situation that you may be involved in. The phone number and email address provided here will get you in touch directly with the Comandante. Call 638 388 0423 or email at contraloria@puertopenasco.gob.mx.

STOP THE BRIBERY! The Municipal Control Body is in charge of receiving and investigating complaints against Police Officers requesting bribes. If there was a crime, there must be a complaint. We want honest policemen, we are responsible citizens.

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