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Police change procedures to avoid handling driver's licenses amid outbreak

Posted at 6:55 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 12:26:55-04

MCGREGOR, TX — During a routine traffic stop, 'license and registration' may mean something different due to social distancing.

Instead of riffling through the glove box and handing over paperwork, James Burson, Chief of Police for McGregor, explains policies have been adjusted.

"A lot of times they can just run the license plate and it will tell them if they have insurance or not," said Chief Burson.

Chief Burson explains all officers in McGregor have been instructed to no longer touch a driver's license or registration.

Instead, “on a vehicle and contact, when they stop somebody for a traffic violation, they have been instructed to just have the person roll the window down and show their drivers license“ he said.

McGregor Police walked 25 News through a social distancing traffic stop scenario.

The officer announced themselves, walked towards the driver's window, while keeping a distance from the driver.

They ask the driver to hold their driver's license up and outside the driver's side window.

The officer then scans the license using a handheld laser ticket scanner - all ensuring no contact is necessary.

Chief Burson explained if the officer finds a warning or citation to be necessary, the officer will hand the citation through a crack in the window to the driver.

The McGrgeor Police Department explained many practices have been adjusted temporarily in order to properly adhere to social distancing policies, noting circumstances like theft, domestic violence and more have seen adjustments.

They advise listening to the officer, and staying calm will be in the best interest of everyone involved.