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Do Police Pull Over Certain Cars More Than Others?

Mustang on display with bonnet open at car show on the grass

From high performance cars to luxury vehicles and family-friendly SUVs, are you more likely to attract the attention of police when you step behind the wheel of a specific vehicle?

Traffic police patrol our roads to make sure drivers are observing traffic laws and road rules. Their job is to make sure you're safe when you hit the streets, but it’s also important to ensure you’re doing your part by staying alert and sticking to the rules when you’re behind the wheel.

Why do police pull cars over?

Traffic and highway patrol police are there to ensure the safety of our roads. From monitoring motorist behaviour to investigating major collisions and performing random alcohol and drug tests, traffic police are responsible for a number of different duties.

If you’ve been driving for a few years, chances are you’ve probably been pulled over by the police at least once. There’s a stack of different reasons that on-road cops pull over vehicles, here’s some of the more common causes you might find yourself roadside:

  • Speeding is a big reason many people get pulled over. Speed limits are in place to keep drivers safe, so don’t be tempted to exceed these limits. Not only are you putting yourself and others at risk, but you’ll also draw the attention of the local police and could end up with a fine.
  • Random breath and saliva tests are often performed on the roadside by traffic police. While you might not have done anything to attract attention, the point of these tests is to be random and catch people out when they’re driving under the influence.
  • Using a mobile phone while driving is a big no no. Anything that distracts you from the road should be avoided, but mobile phones are often the main offender. Although traffic police will pull you over if they catch you on your phone while driving, in some states there’s also mobile phone detection cameras that are specifically designed to catch and fine you if you’ve got your phone in hand or resting on your body in any way.
    • As an open or P2 licence holder there are a few limited instances where using a mobile phone for hands-free use or while in a phone holder attached to the vehicle is acceptable. These cases include: making or receiving voice calls, using navigation apps, skipping a song or accepting/ending a trip as a rideshare driver.
  • All vehicles are equipped with seatbelts for a reason. If the road police notice you driving without a seatbelt, you can expect to be pulled over for a seatbelt check and you’ll be fined if you’re caught not wearing one. There are also seatbelt detection cameras in operation throughout Queensland and New South Wales that can identify whether or not you’re wearing a seatbelt while driving. This technology is expected to be rolled out or trialled across the remaining Australian States and Territories over the coming months, so if you’re caught by a camera not wearing a seatbelt, you can expect to receive a fine.
  • Traffic police are responsible for enforcing traffic laws. Make sure you do your part and stick to the rules or risk being caught out.
  • Imposing licence and registration laws is part of the traffic police’s jurisdiction, but it’s your responsibility to make sure your licence and registration are up to date. If you live in Australia, you’ll also need to have a Green Slip in addition to your registration. A Green Slip is what’s known elsewhere around Australia as compulsory third party (CTP) insurance. If you’re on the market for a new Green Slip provider, check out Youi’s NSW and SA CTP insurance.
  • From super dark window tint to ride height and turbochargers, road cops are constantly on the lookout for unapproved modifications. If your car is sporting any illegal modifications, you could be up for an on the spot fine if the police catch you.
  • Vehicle faults like broken lights, faulty indicators and worn tyres could attract the attention of police. While you might not be up for an on the spot fine, depending on the severity of the fault you might be issued with a defect notice that requires you to fix the fault within a certain period of time. If you don’t get the fault fixed within the timeframe, you could be slapped with a fine or even have your registration suspended.

Although traffic police are responsible for pulling over cars for random drug and alcohol tests or for breaking road rules, there’s no solid evidence to suggest that police stop specific cars more than others. While some cars are statistically more likely to get fined more often, it’s probably down to the demographic of the driver rather than the vehicle itself.

Five tips to avoid police attention on the road

Do the right thing on the road so you don’t grab the attention of the police. Here’s a few ways to stay safe and avoid ending up roadside for questioning.

    1. Obey traffic laws and road rules. This might seem like an obvious one, but for obvious reasons, don’t speed, drive under the influence, use your mobile or drive recklessly. Not only is it unsafe for you and other road users, you’ll quickly become an easy target for police attention.
    2. Keep up with your car maintenance. Avoid police attention by regularly maintaining and servicing your vehicle. This is an easy way to prevent faults with your car that could otherwise catch the eye of a cop.
    3. Know your licence. When you first get your driver's licence, you’re bound by different levels of driving restrictions. These are in place to keep you and others safe on the road. Make sure to familiarise yourself with the requirements of your licence or risk getting caught out. Whether you’re on a restricted, open, motorbike or truck and heavy vehicle licence, make sure you know exactly what you’re allowed to do when you step behind the wheel.
    4. Keep your licence and registration up to date. Your driver’s licence needs to be regularly renewed and your driver’s licence photo generally needs to be updated every 10 years, so always make sure it’s up to date. Your car registration also needs to be renewed every six to 12 months, so be sure to stay on top of this too. There’s huge penalties for driving on an expired licence or with an unregistered vehicle, not to mention your insurance could be voided if you were involved in an accident. While you’re checking your licence and rego are up to date, why not also check your car insurance while you’re at it? Is it time to upgrade your cover or shop around for a better deal? Check out Youi’s car insurance offerings if you’re in the market for new insurance.
    5. Make sure modifications are legal. Ensure any modifications to your vehicle are legal and also check eligibility requirements for young drivers. If you’re on a restricted licence, you might not be legally allowed to drive a car with certain modifications.

There’s nothing to suggest the cops pull over certain cars more often than others. They patrol the roads to make sure everyone’s safe so do your bit and abide by the rules or risk a fine. While the police are there to make sure you’re protected on the road, it’s up to you to make sure your car’s protected. Check our Youi’s range of car insurance and find a policy that best suits your needs.