While the police do have investigative powers, they are not allowed to interfere with your liberty in an arbitrary or discriminatory manner. As a road user, the most likely place that you’re going to have interactions with law enforcement is during a traffic stop.
If the police can’t pull you over at random, then what are some of the legitimate reasons for doing so?
In New York, vehicles are expected to meet minimum requirements in terms of emissions and safety. If your car has not been serviced for some time, then it could stand out to law enforcement. For instance, if you are driving at night time with a broken headlight. Or, perhaps there is an unusual amount of fumes coming from your exhaust because of an engine issue? In any case, law enforcement is entitled to pull you over if they believe that you present a legitimate danger to yourself and other road users.
Your driving conduct
In New York, there are also speed restrictions in place to reduce the risk of accidents. Perhaps you are in a rush to work and have accidentally crept over the designated limit. Maybe you’ve taken a chance and changed lanes quickly to try and beat the traffic? Any form of erratic behavior could provide law enforcement with a legitimate reason to pull you over and conduct further investigations.
You need your driver’s license to pick up and collect your kids from school each day. You might even rely on your vehicle for work purposes. This is why it’s so important to challenge traffic tickets. Having legal guidance behind you will help you to come up with a suitable defense strategy.