Know Your Rights When an Unmarked Car Pulls You Over
MANCHESTER — When drivers see flashing lights in their rear view mirror their initial instinct is to always pull over, but what if the flashing lights aren't from an emergency vehicle but rather a person with questionable motives?
A township woman called police on the evening of Oct. 21 to report that she had been followed by a suspicious vehicle near her home. She told police that she pulled over to allow the car to pass, which it did. Later, however, the other car pulled over and followed her again. The other car "very briefly flashed red and blue strobe lights from the grill of the vehicle.” The woman said the car followed her to the area of Route 70 and Manchester Boulevard before she pulled onto a highway and lost the other car.
The suspicious vehicle was reported as being a dark-colored older model Ford Taurus with tinted windows and strobe lights in the front grill. The woman told police there appeared to be a "metal shield or badge" on the front windshield.
If a driver is pulled over by an unmarked cop car the department provided some suggestions on how best to handle the situation.
- If you are being pulled over by an unmarked or questionable police vehicle and you are not sure of its authenticity, you can call 911 and ask them to verify the matter.
- If you are being pulled over by an unmarked car in a dark or desolate area, you should gesture politely with your hand and proceed carefully to a safe, well-lit area.
- If you are approached by an officer from an unmarked car, keep your hands where they can be seen and politely ask the officer for identification other than a badge, or request that a supervisor be called to the location.
- If you have someone with you that can take a photograph of the vehicle or license plate or you can do it safely it can be helpful.
Manchester police are in the process of contacting other local agencies to see if they have received similar complaints.