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Road Safety - For Women In Particular

Mar 6, 2008
There has been a rash of women being stopped on the highways by police impostors in my State. Most law abiding people will cooperate when stopped by someone they believe to be a police officer. Luckily, these stops have not resulted in any injuries or death.

In the past there have been serial killers who have preyed upon women by pretending to be plainclothes officers, stopping them for an alleged traffic violation, only to kidnap, rape and murder them. Thank goodness this is not the norm.

Every woman should know what to do in case she is stopped by someone in a plainclothes vehicle with a red light:

First she should not stop her vehicle in a secluded dark area. Try to stop somewhere where there is good lighting and other people around if at all possible. If this is not possible, keep your doors locked and only open your window enough to be able to hear and speak to the person.

One thing you should keep in mind is that most traffic violation stops are not made by plainclothes officers. They can make such a stop but it would be out of the ordinary. Think about whether you committed a violation. If you are sure you didn't this should raise a red flag in your mind.

Notice the persons demeanor. Does he appear professional? How is he dressed? Ask to see his identification through your vehicle window. Take a good look at it. If you are suspicious, ask him to request a supervisor at your location. If he hesitates or acts suspicious in anyway, start your car and drive away.

I would hope you have a working cell phone with you and you are not in a dead area. Call the police and tell them you think you have been stopped by an phony police officer.

If it turns out he was a real officer I am sure he will understand, if not you are out of harms way. Always try to remember facial features and of course a license number if it is in view.

It is a good idea to be aware of cars behind you or along side you. If you think you are being followed, make some evasive moves to be sure. You always need to be aware of your surroundings.

A good example of this was when a friend of mine, who is a nurse at a hospital for the criminally insane, was driving home late one night after work. She lives approximately 50 miles from work and has to drive through some remote farm areas.

On this particular night she noticed a car following her for some time and she was in the most remote area of her drive home. She abruptly turned around and drove to an area where there were open businesses and people and the person following her drove off. What if she wasn't alert and her car and cell phone weren't working?

You can't always predict a car breakdown, but if you have your vehicle serviced regularly, the chances are narrowed.

As mentioned before, always have a working cell phone with you. Have the phone numbers of the police departments in each area you travel frequently entered in your cell phone.

If you are on the freeway it might be one department, whereas it would be a different police department for a city or county. It is important to know these numbers because a delay could be deadly.

Picture yourself on a lonely stretch of road late at night. Your car just shuts off and you coast to the side of the road. It turns out you are in a dead area and your cell phone doesn't work. You hope a real police car will show up and call for tow service, but instead a lone male pulls up.

He gets out and approaches your car. What do you do? Do you open your window to speak with him or talk through the window.

You certainly don't get out of the car and you keep your doors locked. You thank him and ask him to drive to an area where there is cell service and call for a tow truck while you wait at the location.

What if he turns out to be someone other than a good samaritan? What do you do? Do you have a weapon to defend yourself? Probably not, this is the time when a good self defense product like a stun gun flashlight would come in handy.

In addition to providing a strong beam of light, it has a loud alarm, a detachable red cone to signal danger, and a lot of power to take a predator down.
The larger model could also be used as a baton.
If the predator attempts to attack you you could activate the stun gun before he knew what happened. He would think it was a flashlight which would give you an advantage. You could then take his car and go for help.

Even if the predator has a gun, in my opinion, you should do whatever you can to get away. If you submit to him your chances of survival are slim. Better to do what you can to get away.

There are some authorities who believe that if you breakdown in a remote area, you should not stay in your car. You should hide somewhere near your car.
This is when extra clothing or blankets in the car along with snacks and water come in handy, especially if it is cold outside.

The choice to stay with the car or near the car is up to you. If I didn't have any sort of personal protection I might chose to stay out of sight.

In any event, take every precaution you can so that you don't end up in this situation. Be safe, not sorry.
About the Author
Rosalie Kimberlin, the author, spent almost 30 years on a large metropolitan police department, and is now the owner of RK Enterprises. In a continuing effort to protect the "good guys" she now offers self defense and surveillance products through http://www.nannycamsetc.com
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