Ladies, this is mostly for you, but when it comes down to it, none of us can be too safe. You’ve probably heard stories about people getting “pulled over” on deserted streets - only the person pulling them over isn’t really a police officer at all, but someone posing as one. Their reasons for doing so are usually malicious and dangerous. So, here’s how to tell the difference between a real officer and an imposter, and what should you do if you’re not sure. We got these tips from CNN.
- Ask yourself - Have you done something wrong? If you’ve been cruising within 5 miles of the speed limit, and you haven’t broken any traffic laws that you’re aware of, your guard should be up. Most of the time, when we get pulled over - we know perfectly well why. So if all of a sudden there’s an unmarked car on your tail with its lights flashing, for no reason, be cautious.
- Check out the car. In the U.S., almost all traffic enforcement work is done by officers driving one of the following: A Ford Crown Victoria sedan, a Chevy Impala sedan, a Chevy Tahoe SUV, or a Dodge Charger. These vehicles are also sold to civilians and it’s not hard to dress one up so it looks like an undercover police car. However, if the person pulling you over isn’t driving one of these, be careful. If you’re not sure, do this: slow down to indicate you’re not trying to get away, in case it is a real police officer, and signal your intent to pull over. Only do so when you can find a well-lit, public place with other people around, like a store parking lot. There have been several cases of women being abducted and assaulted by thugs impersonating police, and most departments are sensitive to people’s legitimate precautions.
- If your “creep meter” is really going off, grab your cell phone and dial 911. Tell the operator that you’re being pulled over, but you’re not sure if it’s a real cop. Let them know exactly where you are and stay on the line. If it’s a real officer, you’ll know very soon.
These precautions, and some common sense, should keep you from getting anything worse than a traffic ticket.