‘Driving While Black’ Apps Give Tips for Police Stops

Steven DuBois, ABC News, December 11, 2014

A “Driving While Black” smartphone application is set for release this month, but its developers say motorists should be careful when they use it.

“Do not reach for your phone when you are talking to police,” stressed attorney Melvin Oden-Orr, who created the app with another Portland lawyer and a software developer.

Avoiding any move that could make officers think you’re reaching for a gun is just one of the tips “Driving While Black” offers. And despite its attention-grabbing name, the common-sense advice it offers applies to motorists of all races.

The app describes how people can assert their civil rights with officers, enables drivers to alert friends and family with a push of a button that they’ve been pulled over, and includes a recording function to document the interaction.


The term “driving while black” reflects widespread frustration among African-Americans that they are more likely to get pulled over than white people, a reality confirmed in a Justice Department report last year that also found black and Hispanic drivers are more likely to be ticketed and searched than whites.

The key to surviving a traffic stop, Hyland and Oden-Orr say, is to remain calm, keep your hands on the wheel, be respectful and make no false moves.


Their app, which The Oregonian newspaper reported about last week, doesn’t provide legal advice, but it will include a directory of lawyers for drivers who believe they were wrongfully stopped or searched.

“It’s about being safe during a traffic stop so that everyone goes home alive,” Oden-Orr said.


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  • dd121

    Good practical advice for the mentally slowest among us.

  • phorning

    I was pulled over for speeding about a month ago, was polite to the officer, who was also polite and professional. The whole stop only took a few minutes. Black drivers don’t have a monopoly on getting stopped for traffic violations. It is an inconvenience, but is minor unless you are disrespectful or have other unresolved issues with the law.

    • baldowl

      That chip on their shoulders is easily upset. They do not like to be questioned.

      • APaige

        Real Black person: “Why da f_ _ k you b pullin me ova and sheit”?
        Driving While Black App: “Good evening officer, how are you?”
        So it has come down to Black people needing to use an App on a smartphone to act right? Smartphones for dumb people.

    • Being polite and cooperative got me out of several times more speeding tickets than I ever received. One that might have been for the perfectly reasonable speed of about 140 mph on I-40 in Arizona, back in March 1996, but I dropped my 1995 Saturn into neutral when I saw something glitter – probably sunlight off his car’s glass – and had shed speed down to about 85 by coasting, without tapping the brakes or allowing the car to otherwise show I was decelerating. That AZ state trooper must have known what I had just been doing.

      He asked me where I was going, and explained that I was heading to the ISIF microelectronics conference in Phoenix, would be stopping to tour Meteorite Crater on the way there, and in lieu of a motel room would stay with my sister and spend my per diem taking her out to nice dinners. He let me go without a ticket, but said “keep the speed down”.

      I did. I wasn’t going to push my luck any farther.

      • DD-762

        Judging from past posts, MCS, it appears you have led quite an interesting life. Keep it up, but please be careful.

      • Jessica Lee

        Nice car

    • Tarczan

      I was too, and the cop almost apologized for giving me a speeding ticket, and said thanks for being cooperative. I guess they must run into some real jerks.

    • dd121

      Black’s ancestors were slaves 150 or more years ago. So now they don’t like to submit to the authority of a white person, even when legally constituted. You see it throughout these recent riots. They just don’t accept the rule of law. The white liberals keep egging them on. They may someday wish they hadn’t.

  • Whitetrashgang

    How about a app for whites and Asians on how not to be murdered,,raped or assaulted by blacks

    • Travis Lee

      Avoid them.

      That will be $1.99 please.

    • Rurik

      See John Derbyshire’s article on “The Talk – Non Black Version”.

  • SentryattheGate

    I am sympathize with police, who may be murdered at the next traffic stop! And they don’t get a high pay. After the military, they have the highest suicide rates, and divorce rates. Hispanics and blacks, who don’t do well in school (due to lower average IQ), often resort to illegal ways to make a living and are therefore targeted (rightly so) for police stops.

  • Tooth fairy, Santa Claus, Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, racial equality, school to prison pipeline, driving while black. And other assorted myths.

    • Hey, wait a minute! Bigfoot ain’t no myth. Sorry, just felt compelled to say that. Carry on.

  • baldowl

    There needs to be some kind of app to help one avoid driving around blacks. Most of them seem to drive like drunk, angry teenagers–which, come to think of it, is the way many of them behave, period.

  • DD-762

    I’ve got one to add to the list:

    “Don’t reach for the cop’s weapon when stopped”.

    • Irishgirl

      Ha! Thanks, you just made my day.

    • How about turning on the inside light if it is dark out, just so the policeman can see your hands are in plain sight on the steering wheel? That one seems to be helpful.

      • R L Buds

        I learned that one from my dad. One nite we got pulled over for a dead lite; he turned the lites on and told he to keep my hands on my lap.
        I fear however that even if “baby daddies” hung around they would have little to offer their kids and the kids wouldn’t really get it anyway.

  • Alexandra1973

    They could also view Chris Rock’s advice. “Blasting ‘F*** the Police’ while you’re getting pulled over by the police is just ig’nant.”

  • Reynardine

    “The key to surviving a traffic stop, Hyland and Oden-Orr say, is to
    remain calm, keep your hands on the wheel, be respectful and make no
    false moves.”

    Wait, they’re only NOW starting to realize this?

  • Yves Vannes

    As with the new police cameras, this app will eventually be deleted. What it will capture is the obnoxious and rude behavior of the detribalized uncivil behavior of Diversity. Once that becomes the story this app stops to work.

  • Jessica Lee

    Anyone dumb enough to need an app to tell them how to be polite to a police officer is too stupid to drive or use a smart phone.

  • libertarian1234

    If these black miscreants ever did succeed in causing police to give them free rein on crimes, I’m wondering if they think that they would then put a halt to the tens of thousands of crimes and murders that affect blacks in their own neighborhoods?

    Surely they’re not that stupid.

    Are they?

    • At that time, they would be demanding more cops, and complain about the racism of de-policing.

  • LACountyRedneck

    How about an app for murdering while black, or raping while black, or sucker punching while black, or freeloading while black, or a burden to society while black.

    Whining while black. That would also be a useful app.

  • Lee_CPA

    I think this app is telling our black brethren all wrong. Blacks should ignore the blue lights for a couple of miles before pulling over. Keep your heavily tinted windows rolled up and force the police officer to knock on your window. When he askes for your license and registration, scream “I’ve got your registration right here!” while making a quick lunge for the glove box.
    He’ll appreciate your enthusiasm. Trust me…

  • MekongDelta69

    How about an app. called, Living While White, which alerts you to every single black hood, where the odds of you getting out alive are extremely low (unless you’re armed to the teeth – which you’d better be)?

  • Who Me?

    A cop stops you, you’re wondering what you did, or you know what you did and are nervous about getting a ticket. The cop is wondering who he’s stopped and what’s gong on with this person, after all he doesn’t know you from Adam’s house cat. The last thing you want is the person with the badge (and the gun) to get nervous too. That’s when the situation goes south. If you sit still with your hands on the wheel, he will tell you why he stopped you, then he will ask for your license and registration. That’s when you tell him your license is in your purse and get it out and hand it to him. Tell him the registration is in the glovebox, and slowly reach over, get it out and hand it to him. Don’t be reaching around in the backseat or jumping about or talking on the phone or making a lot of movements while he’s back at his car checking out your papers. Take the ticket, sign it, and put it in your purse along with your license and registration. Say, “Thanks Officer” (no matter WHAT you really want to say or call him, keep your mouth shut–AND DON’T TRY TO BE FUNNY!!!), and drive away in a proper, safe manner. Sure you may or may not have deserved the ticket–if you did, well, you got busted, and you’ll have to pay a fine. If you didn’t, you’ll get to explain it to a judge–another PITA, but aside from some aggravation, and spending 15 minutes you didn’t have (otherwise why were you speeding in the first place?) nobody got hurt, and you either left the officer with a good impression, or better yet, no impression at all. In other words, act like a civilized human being with some sense. Now this is what most White people do when a cop stops them. They either know these things from watching mom or dad get a ticket at some time or other during their childhood, or they know instinctively that the guy with the badge has got the upper hand, and a traffic stop is not the time or place to mouth off or try a power play. Blacks on the other hand never seem to understand this for some reason, then wonder why they got shot for doing something stupid. I can’t for the life of me understand it. Don’t these people TELL their kids this while they’re teaching them to drive? Oh, wait…

  • Paleoconn

    Ths is a driving while anything app. If a White reaches for a phone, he will also likely be shot.

  • Speedy Steve

    I’ll let a brutha — Chris Rock explain it in Ebonix: www[dot]youtube[dot]com/watch?v=QR465HoCWFQ