Dad’s Law Part #4: Unmarked Police Cars

Recently, I saw this black unmarked car, with flashing headlights and an inside flashing light going speeding by on the highway. It was broad daylight, but it looked like a futuristic car. I have since come to learn it is a new form of the State Police Cruisers. Quite frankly, it was rather disconcerting. I started to think: Would I have pulled over for this car, and would I ask my daughters to pull over?

Each year across the USA, reports surface of drivers being pulled over by people who are impersonating police and intending to rob or assault them. These concerns are at issue now as many law enforcement agencies step up their use of unmarked patrol cars to catch speeders and other traffic law violators.

With a car that is not clearly marked, people are sometimes very apprehensive about pulling over. Obviously, an unmarked car could certainly cause people concern. Anybody can go out and buy a light of the regular variety and stick it on their car.

I am urging my daughters, and anyone else, for that matter, to exercise caution if they’re concerned about an officer’s legitimacy.

I am suggesting following tips, if you are being asked to pull over, to ensure safety:

  • Activate your hazard lights to notify the officer you are complying with the request to pull over.
  • On your cell phone call 911, and ask the dispatcher to verify that it is an officer attempting to pull you over. If the 911 operator has verified your vehicle description and your location, stop immediately for the officer.
  • If you are still unsure, with your hazard lights activated, drive to a nearby public area that is well lighted; keep your doors locked and don’t roll down your window until you see that he is in uniform.
  • If the unmarked car is being operated by a plainclothes officer, you request that a uniformed officer respond to the scene.

Unmarked police cars are commonly used in law enforcement worldwide. But rest assured: Using cars with no identifying law enforcement insignia or markings is legal.

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