Friday, July 02, 2010

Freedom Shenanigan #47

Seven Ways To Spot An Unmarked Police Car

Just in time for the Pigs Holiday of 'Traffic" enforcement How to Beat The Heat: Seven Ways To Spot An Unmarked Police Car. The feakine pigs are out in force this weekend. To be for warned is to be for armed.


My brother is a cop, and he worked his way up through the ranks to become a captain in his department. One of the perks of the job is an unmarked police car, since he can get called in at any hour of the day or night. His is a Dodge Charger, black on black, AWD, with the 5.7 liter Hemi. I could spot it as a cop car from half a mile away, but it’s surprising how many drivers have no clue.

As a public service to you, the RideLust reader, I present seven ways to tell if that Crown VIc in your rear view mirror is about to light you up or not. Want to know if you can pass that Charger in the middle lane, doing five over the speed limit, without raising your insurance rates? Read on.

Learn what makes and models are used by police in your area

Yes, even Mustangs (ed. and Chargers) can be cop cars.

This is a tough one, since a wide variety of unmarked cars can be used for speed enforcement and undercover work. There are the obvious choices, like Dodge Chargers, Ford Crown Victorias, and even Chevrolet Impalas. Some departments like to use Ford Mustangs as chase cars, and I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before Dodge Challengers and the new Chevy Camaro get pressed into service.

Bottom line? If the car is a Crown Vic or a Charger, you should ramp up your paranoia and move on to the next step.

Look for multiple antennas

Multiple antennas generallyindicate a cop car.

Cop cars have radios and electronics, usually lots of them. Look for multiple, unfamiliar antennas. Some may be low profile, so look for anything on the roof or trunk that doesn’t look like an FM or satellite radio antenna. If you spot two or more, start thinking that it’s some kind of official vehicle.

Look for semi-hidden strobe lights – grille, rear license plate, mirrors, windshield

See the strobes in the grille and by the rearview mirror?

This should be obvious, yet most people don’t even bother to look for strobes. Some are hidden in the taillights, but others should be visible in daylight conditions. Look at the cars grille for red and blue strobes. If the car is behind you, look at the top of the windshield for an interior (hidden) lightbar. Check the mirrors, as unmarked cars often incorporate strobes into the rear view mirrors. If you’re approaching from behind the car, look for any lights out of place at the rear, such as small strobes above the license plate.