When In Doubt About the Cop Trying to Pull You Over, Drive to Safety or Call #77 or #677 on Your Cell Phone-Partly Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
The story of a young college woman who was suspicious about an unmarked patrol car attempting to pull her over. She remembered her parents’ advice to proceed to a safe or populated place before stopping and also contacted the authorities on her cell by by using #77. Other patrol cars were sent to her location, the person in the unmarked car was arrested and turned out to be a convicted rapist.
Whether this particular story is real, we don’t know, but the information it conveys is apparently sound.
TruthOrFiction.com talked with law enforcement agencies on both the East and West Coasts. The consensus was that if you are suspicious about a patrol car wanting to pull you over, especially in an isolated area or at night, it’s prudent to proceed to a place where would feel safer.
The problem is that the law says you are to obey an officer who says to pull over so if you do decide to continue, do so in a way that makes it clear you are not trying to evade him or her.
If you have a cell phone, call your local emergency number, usually 911, and you can be connected to a dispatcher who can help decide whether the car attempting to pull you over is legitimate.
Also, as happens in this eRumor, you can inform the dispatcher that it is your intention to comply, but only after you get to the next off ramp, gas station, populated areas, etc.
We’ve received numerous emails asking about the #77 procedure described in the eRumor.
Even though 911 is the most common number to use in an emergency, there are many states that have established other numbers as well for cell phone users, especially to report highway emergencies.
The #77 number is one of them. Some states use *77 or even #55.
The story that suggests using #677 is a Canadian version of this eRumor that inserted the numbers for reaching the Ontario Provincial Police in Ontario.
One of the reasons, according to a cell company we spoke with, is that the 911 calls from a cell phone go to different kinds of agencies depending on where the phone call is being made.
In some areas, dialing 911 on a cell phone may go to a city or county emergency dispatcher. In other areas, the call may go to a state highway law enforcement agency such as the highway patrol or state troopers.
In the states with the “77” numbers, cell phone users will usually get connected directly with a highway law enforcement agency.
For that reason, you will frequently see signs posted along some freeways, expressways, or toll ways suggesting use of a number other than 911 if you’re using a cell phone.
I never even knew about this #77 feature!
This actually happened to one of my dearest
new friend’s daughter.
Her daughter, Lauren, is 19yrs old and a
sophomore in college. This
happened to her over the Christmas/New Year’s
holiday break. It was the
Saturday before New Year’s and it was about 1PM in
the afternoon. Lauren
was driving from here, Winchester, to visit a
friend in Warrenton. For
those of you who are familiar with the area, she
was taking50 East towards
Middleburg and then was going to cut over to 66 via
17.Those of you who
aren’t familiar with this area – 50 East is a main
road (55mph and two
lanes each side with a big median separating East
and West lanes), but is
somewhat secluded, meaning mostly residents along
the road, rather than
commercial businesses. Lauren was actually
following behind a state police
car shortly after she left Winchester and was going
just over 65mph since
she was following behind him.
An UNMARKED police car pulled up behind her
and put his lights on. My
friend and her husband have 4 children (highschool
and college age) and
have always told them never to pull over for an
unmarked car on the side of
the road, but rather wait until they get to a gas
station, etc. So Lauren
had actually listened to her parents advice, and
promptly called #77 on her
cell phone to tell the dispatcher that she would
not pull over right away.
She proceeded to tell the dispatcher that there
were 2 police cars, one
unmarked behind her and one marked in front of her.
The dispatcher checked
if there were 2 police cars where she was. There
wasn’t and she was
connected to the policeman in front of her and he
told her to keep driving,
remain calm and that he had back-up already on the
way.Ten mins later 4
cop cars surrounded her and the unmarked car behind
her.One policeman went
to her side and the others surrounded the car
behind.They pulled the guy
from the car and tackled him to the
ground……….the man was a convicted
rapist and wanted for other crimes.
Thank God Lauren listened to her parents! She
was shaken up, but
fine. I never knew that bit of advice, but
especially for a woman alone in
a car, you should not pull over for an unmarked car
in a secluded area. In
fact, even a marked car after dark should follow
you to a populated area.
Apparently police have to respect your right to
keep going to
a”safe” place. You obviously need to make some
signals that you acknowledge
them (i.e. put on your hazard lights) or call #77
like Lauren did. I am so
thankful that my friend was just sitting at our
book club meeting telling
us this scary story, rather than us at her house
Be safe and pass this on to your friends.
Awareness is everything!