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.
Some Canadian versions of the story say the number to call is #677.
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.