By Roseanne Tellez

(CBS) — Flashing police lights and sirens can rattle nerves. But a new Illinois law is aimed at teaching new drivers how to stay cool during traffic stops.

Roseanne Tellez visited a driver’s education class that’s already spending a little extra time on a topic once considered routine.

Some private driving schools teach it already: what to do when you’re stopped by police.

A new state law taking effect in 2017 requires it.

American Defensive Driving in Evanston is owned by a former state trooper.

“In my world there’s no such thing as a routine traffic stop,” Doug Whitmore says.

He says police never know what they’ll encounter — and it can mean life or death.

“When I first come to that car, I am apprehensive, so your job as a driver should be to relieve that stress, relieve that tension,” he says.

Whitmore says many students have never been in a car stopped by police.

The goal is to keep your traffic stop from escalating, to protect the driver and police

Current guidelines can be found at the Illinois Secretary of State’s website.




Watch & Listen LIVE