Next time you get pulled over for something (hopefully you wont, but in case you do) you may hear a new question from the officer that pulled you over.

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The opening question probably won't be "what's your favorite sandwich", but it can no longer be "do you know why I pulled you over".  There is a new law in Minnesota that prohibits traffic cops from asking that question.  So, they will need to find another question as an ice breaker.  My suggestion would be, "hi there - how are you doing today/tonight/this morning." At least you wouldn't be answering with something that might incriminate yourself.

Governor Walz signed the bill at the end of May to make this a new Minnesota law.

From Eden Prairie:

The change in law is one 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. The package includes millions of dollars in grants for services targeting crime victims, as well as changes to statutes ranging from traffic stop reform to law enforcement training requirements.

However, even with this new law in place, there are times and places when this question would be justified.  And there is an exception in place.

According to the new language, a peace officer making a stop for a traffic violation can no longer ask the driver to identify the reason for the stop, but must instead tell the driver a reason “unless it would be unreasonable to do so under the totality of the circumstances.”

This law is going into affect in other states as well.  California put the law into place earlier this year, in January.  Pennsylvania also has this law, and it's likely other states will follow suit.

By the way, if you are ever asked this question, the answer is always "No".  But make sure you are very polite and respectful.

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