After false alarms, officers offer traffic stop tips

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Sheriff’s departments have found two recent reports of drivers pulled over by people who were not police officers were false alarms.

One report out of Moultrie County was found to be false, according to a social media post by the county sheriff’s department. The other, in Macon County, was found to have been a legitimate traffic stop by a police officer, according to the county sheriff’s department.

Sgt. S. E. Flannery of the Macon County Sheriff’s department said that changes in police vehicles have caused some confusion among drivers.

“Different agencies have different types of vehicles,” Flannery said, adding that some agencies now use SUVs and pickup trucks that can manage rough terrain and snowy roads. “So people are used to getting pulled over by … the big white car with the lights up top, and now it’s different. None of our cars have lights up top anymore.”

Still, Flannery said drivers who are being pulled over and feel unsafe can usually drive to a place where they feel safer by slowing down, turning on flashing hazard lights and signaling to the officer behind them that they plan to pull over.

He added that drivers who are unsure about being stopped can call 911 and ask whether they are in fact being stopped by an officer with a local agency.

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