Maybe you’ve never noticed this but if you have, you’ve likely wondered why the officer taps on your tail light on his way to chat you up at the driver’s side window.
It’s not to see if there’s a kidnap victim hiding in your trunk. In fact, there are a few other reasons, all of which make total sense once you learn about them.
One: The police officer taps on the tail light to startle the driver a bit. The thinking behind this tactic is that if you’re trying to reach for a weapon or hide contraband, the tap will cause you to pause. This will give the officer time to get around to the window and see what’s up.
Also, if you act all jumpy and weird after the tap, the cop knows to be on their toes.
Two: In the olden days before the world of dashcams, touching the tail lights was a way for police officers to say “I’ve been here” should something happen to them after the stop. Their fingerprints would be on the car, just in case.
So, there you go – another mystery solved.