IMPERSONATING A POLICE VEHICLE - What to do if You are Suspicious
Coquitlam RCMP suggests the following tips to motorists who believe they are being stopped by non-legitimate police vehicle:
Slow down, drive in a safe manner to the nearest well-lit, populated area;
If this is not possible, do the following:
- Lock all doors, pull over safely and leave your vehicle running;
- If you have a cellular phone, take it out immediately, hold it in full view of the person who has pulled you over and call 911;
- Calmly give the 911 operator your location and express you concern;
- Ask the 911 operator/police dispatch if they have had any communication with a police officer about a traffic stop in your area;
- Ask 911 to relay your concerns to that law enforcement officer;
- Tell the officer, through a cracked window and locked your door that you plan to cooperate, but you have heard about police impersonators;
- Indicate that you are concerned for your safety and that you are verifying the police contact through dispatch;
- If you remain uncertain that the person who pulled you over is in fact a police officer, ask him/her if you can proceed to a more populated area;
- If he/she agrees, tell the 911 dispatched where you are heading to and proceed.
Especially For Women Driving at Night
Hi, to me it seems the most important and helpful part for a member of the public, especially a woman driving alone at night, is that a vehicle showing just the red and blue lights in the grille is suspicious. (Meaning no other flashing lights, no siren.) That's the part I've shared with friends and family.
Even if the cop car had been showing flashing red/blue lights wherever (and 'ghost' cars/trucks/suvs don't put them on the roof) then you might decide that it's best to continue to the nearest well lit gas station before pulling over.
If they want you to pull over right now, they should activate their sirens, even if it's only a brief BLIP BLIP.