SPOKANE, Wash. -- Undercover police cars are already difficult to identify but they are about to get even stealthier. Ford is making cars with the red and blue lights built into the car so they can be even harder to spot.
Unmarked cars are something that always spark debate. A lot of people think law enforcement are not allowed to pull over speeders with unmarked cars. It can be confusing because of how the law is written.
The law states, it is unlawful for any public officer to have charge of any vehicle owned or controlled by any county, city, town, or public body until it has markings on it. However, the law goes on to say that rule does not apply to "vehicles of a sheriff's office, local police department, or any vehicles used by local peace officers under public authority for special undercover or confidential investigative purposes." The law further states that this "shall not apply to vehicles used by the Washington state patrol for general undercover or confidential investigative purposes.” It goes on to say it is also at the discretion of the chief of the Washington State Patrol.
Both Washington State Patrol and the Spokane Sheriff's Office say unmarked cars are a tool that helps keep the public safe.
“When that tool goes away, it just makes it more difficult for us to keep you safe from people that break the law and we know how dangerous texting and driving is, it kills a lot of people,” said Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.
“Often times what troopers in marked cars see, is we see drivers that see our vehicle and immediately follow all the rules of the road and drive as if they just graduated driver's ed, the unmarked vehicle gives us an opportunity to give us what I like to quote is to notice driver's in their natural environment,” said Washington State Trooper Jeff Sevigney.
When it comes to unmarked cars people also worry about whether or not they will be able to tell if it is an officer pulling them over. WSP leaders said they train their troopers in unmarked cars to be aware of that and to understand why someone may take a little longer to pull over. If you are not sure if it is actually an officer behind you, you can also call 911 to make sure.