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Lawmakers, law enforcement team up to make traffic stops safer

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Legislative Black Caucus is teaming up with Oklahoma Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety to help drivers during traffic stops.

The idea is to give you a step-by-step guide about what to do, everything from staying calm to keeping both hands on the wheel.

There are also resources on what to do if things go bad.

"We've seen outcomes of law enforcement stops that not been very good," said Rep. George Young.

That's what started the conversation between law enforcement and the black caucus.

"There's an inherent fear, and we understand that when someone is stopped during a traffic stop and we want to take that fear away," said Commissioner Rusty Rhoades.

The idea came from Texas and, now, when anyone picks up a driver's manual, they'll find a sheet explaining the do's and don'ts of a traffic stop.

There, you'll find tips like don't make any sudden movements, staying calm and giving the officer your full attention.

"We also wanted to make sure we put in there what to do if you feel like your rights are being violated," Rhoades said.

Drivers will also have information on how to protect their rights.

"We also made sure we listed the Title VI information that will get people to the right folks," Rhoades said.

The hope is to build better relationships.

"In today's environment, we want to make sure we're doing everything we can as an agency to assure not only our trooper and other law enforcement officers are safe but other members of the community," Rhoades said.

Young said it's a small but needed step in the right direction.

"I'm hoping that this will be another step toward addressing not only this; I want to call it disconnect between law enforcement and regular citizens," he said.

Commissioner Rhoades said DPS has an agreement with the Tag Agents Association. They're going to place an actual physical copy in the current driver's manuals and online. You can find an online version here.