What should I do when I see flashing lights behind me?
- If you see flashing lights behind you, you should pull to the right and slow down. When an officer is trying to stop you, you should pull off of the roadway when it is safe and come to a stop. If you are stopped at night, turn your interior dome light on. Limit your movements inside your vehicle until the officer approaches and requests your license and insurance information. Traffic stops are inherently unpredictable in the eyes of an officer and reaching into your glove box or purse as the officer approaches only adds to an already tense situation.
What if I am in a secluded area or want to verify that a real police officer is pulling me over?
- When you see the lights flashing, slow down and pull to the right and turn your hazard lights on. This will act as an acknowledgement to the officer. If you have a cell phone, call 911 and tell the operator that you want to verify that an officer is trying to stop you. Listen to the operator’s instructions as to what to do next. If you do not have a cell phone, stop in a well lit/well populated area, lock your door, roll your window down an inch and request the officer provide his/her department issued identification card. All Texas peace officers have a department issued id card. If you believe that a real officer is trying to stop you but you do not want to stop in a dark area, again slow down, pull to the right and activate your hazards. You can continue to drive until you reach the next well lit area. The important thing in both of these situations is to acknowledge the officer trying to stop you.
What if I am being stopped by an unmarked police car?
- Acknowledge the officer as described above. Call 911 to verify the officer’s identity or stop in a well lit/well populated area and verify the officer’s id as described above.