August 14, 2006
Officers have two new weapons for putting the brakes on speeders in Albemarle County but it won't be easy for you to see them.
ACPD is now using unmarked cars to put a stop to drivers with a heavy foot. For drivers who may be uncomfortable not seeing the standard blue and whites cars, Albemarle County wants to let drivers know what to do if they get pulled over by a police car in disguise.
Speeders beware: you could get pulled over by an officer driving a Dodge Intrepid or a Ford Crown Victoria. Albemarle County is now using these unmarked cars in their fight against aggressive drivers.
“It’s a new program that we are confident is going to aid in ensuring traffic safety, and enforcement on our county roads,” said Albemarle County Police Lt. Shawn Schwertfeger.
They've been used for only two weeks and officers already say they are catching more speeders. Drivers who normally slow down when they see a marked blue and white car may unknowingly zip past these unmarked cars.
“We're not trying to hide anything, so we want you to see the vehicles [on TV and] we want you to know what to do if you do feel unsure or uncertain the car with the blue light stopping you is a police officer,” said Schwertfeger.
So if you see flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror, first, don't panic.
“Slow down to a very safe speed and activate your emergency flashers. That indicates to the officer ‘Hey, I realize you're there,’” said Schwertfeger.
Then look for a well lit area with other people around to pull into. If you are near a police station drive to the station, if not a gas station or convenience store is a good place to stop. You can also always call 911. The dispatcher should be able to tell you if an officer is in fact pulling you over.
If you want to get a better look at the two unmarked cars, photos of the cars are on the Albemarle County Police Department Web site at www.albemarle.org.