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Mason City police describe what you should do when unsure of police lights


This news story was published on December 9, 2015.
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police-impersonatorsMASON CITY – Those ominous red and blue flashing lights come on behind your vehicle, but you’re not sure it’s a cop. What should you do?

This situation is not uncommon. It reportedly happened last week outside Charles City, and there was another occurrence earlier this year in Des Moines. Also, there were reports from law enforcement of this happening in Minnesota last year.

Should you simply pull over and take your chances, or should you continue along and risk further punishment if the lights actually do belong to police?

To help clear up the confusion, Mason City police tried to explain your best options.

“What should you do if a vehicle is behind you with red and blue flashing lights and you think it’s not really the police or another emergency vehicle?” police asked hypothetically Wednesday morning.

“If it really looks shady, call 911,” police offered.  “The dispatchers will be able to tell you if it is really an officer trying to stop you.”

This is sage advice, but what if you have no working cell phone with you?

“If you’re just not sure or don’t have a cell phone with you, first, turn on your turn signal and slow down. If it is an officer he or she will know you have seen the lights. Then drive slowly and carefully to a well lit and/or populated area like a store parking lot or even the police department.

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