You should always pull over in a well lit and safe place. This is what I've always been told and always have done.
That said: About three years ago I was lit up while driving to work one morning on a miserable, heavily trafficked road with red light after red light by an unmarked vehicle.
Yes, I was probably speeding while taking off from a redlight before slamming on my breaks for the next one. Traffic moves fast, people weave in and out. It's a total shitshow.
I immediately slowed down, put on my signal and moved over 2 lanes of traffic. There was an additional lane that was the turn off to the local community college so I didn't want to stop there. Remember it's early morning and college students are pouring in. Busy, busy, busy. I wanted to pull into the college parking lot and not block traffic.
But, nope, the cop was having none of it. He put on the sirens, so I stopped. In the busiest, most dangerous place possible. But, that's what he wanted.
I won't lie. I've been pulled over before. I know the drill. Turn off the vehicle. Put your hands on the steering wheel and wait for the cop to come to you. He gets out of his car and walks up to my vehicle now taking up another lane that students are trying to use to get to school.
He asks me if I knew how fast I was going, blah, blah, blah and can he see my license, registration and proof of insurance. I tell him I need to reach into the glove compartment and he says okay. I have registration and proof of insurance.
My driver's license is in my purse which is in my teaching bag which is directly behind my seat and it is heavy so I can't reach it from my seat. He says to try. I say okay and fumble with the bag, but can't get it. I tell him that I have to get out and open the back door and I look him in the eye and ask him if it's safe to do so. I really don't believe it is.
Suddenly, he's on the back foot. He looks around at the mess of cars zooming around and says, "Yeah, I think so. Go ahead."
!!!You think so?!!! (I didn't say this out loud!)
So, I get out, and he's kind of blocking the traffic from hitting me and I get the feeling that he suddenly realizes that this is actually very dangerous. Cars are flying around, we're just past a corner and it feels dangerous. How easy would it be for someone to fly around the corner and smash into me and him. And they almost do. I'm pissed off because I don't really have a choice but to follow his directions and I'm fearing for my safety (and his)! I grab the bag, dig through books and papers, dig out my purse and go sit back in the driver's seat. I pull out my license, give it to him, he takes my stuff and disappears into his vehicle.
I frantically call the school where I work, tell them I'd been pulled over and told them that I might be late for my 8:30 parent conference. Of all the days!
The cop comes back with a written warning and told me to drive more safely since the traffic is really bad in the morning on this road. But he seemed a little less aggressive. In fact, almost chastened. Nearly apologetic.
I told him it was bad in the afternoon too, in fact it was never good and now I was really late for a parent conference. Then I told him thank you for being careful with my safety. And that was that.
He probably thought I was a dumb college student. Cops around here will pull kids over just to make a point. And I was driving a Subaru WRX and I was speeding and changing lanes. As everyone does because when the lane you're in comes to a sudden stop, you need to change lanes real quick. Ten miles of that shit twice a day.
He realized I wasn't a college student and everything checked out so he let me go. Maybe he also thought about how dangerous the whole thing was and if he had let me keep going to the college parking lot he wouldn't have put either of us in danger.