If you've been pulled over by a cop, you more than likely have heard this question before. But we won't be hearing it anymore in Minnesota thanks to a law that changed just a couple of weeks ago.

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The Embarrassing Thing That Got Me Pulled Over

Really quick side story before we get into it. I've been pulled over a couple of times, nothing major, but there's one that's just embarrassing.

This happened when I was in college and I had just gotten my car probably 8 months prior. I'm back in my hometown for the summer when a cop gets behind me and flashes his lights.

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MattGush
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I'm thinking 'What the heck did I do?' As far as I could tell I was following all of the rules. We pull into a nearby parking lot and long story short he tells me my tabs are expired... like, REALLY expired.

Thankfully he could tell I was totally clueless and let me go after explaining what to do. I was also amazing I hadn't been pulled over before because I had driven the 3 hours to my hometown and back to college multiple times since the tabs expired.

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When this super nice cop pulled me over and came to my window the first question he asked me was 'Do you know why I pulled you over?' And that's not a question you'll be hearing anymore from Minnesota police.

Minnesota Police Can't Ask 'Do You Know Why I Pulled You Over?'

This is because of a law change that's, as MinnPost writes, a part of "many provisions included in the judiciary and public safety supplemental budget bill passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz at the end of the session in late May."

Officers are now instructed to explain to the driver why they were pulled over for a traffic violation rather than asking the driver why they think they were pulled over.

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Doug Menuez
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Jeff Potts, executive director of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, spoke with MinnPost about this and said that officers would ask the question in order to start a conversation with the driver.

This is totally valid but then he says, "'There were some organizations that thought it put the driver in a position of self-incrimination, that they’d be admitting to something, and in an arrest situation, of course, that’s not okay unless they’ve been read their rights.'"

That's a great point that I didn't consider, so I'm really glad this change has been made.

However, an issue people have with it is that there are basically no repercussions for an officer if they do still ask the question 'Do you know why I pulled you over?'. MinnPost writes, "An officer’s failure to do so, however, wouldn’t allow for dismissal of a charge, citation or evidence collected during the stop."

My opinion is that this is a step in the right direction but it seems that more needs to be done.

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Gallery Credit: Carly Ross