7 On Your Side:Drivers Unsure What To Do If Pulled Over At Night - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

5/22/06-East Texas

7 On Your Side:Drivers Unsure What To Do If Pulled Over At Night

  Watching Karen Jerome's arrest on television had many women, who emailed KLTV 7, confused about what to do if they're being pulled over at night.  
  One viewer writes: "I am a nurse and have worked many a night shift in the past years... This could have been any one of countless other nurses driving home after a long shift." Another viewer writes: "We've heard warning after warning about not stopping in dark, secluded areas, for safety reasons. So how are women supposed to know what to do??"  
  We talked to one viewer, Jill Krone, who lives off rural, Highway 42 in New London. "Prior to this I probably would have come on home. That's what I told my daughter to do," says Krone about what she would do if pulled over at night.
  In our initial interview about Karen Jerome's arrest with Tyler DPS Spokesperson Jeanne Dark, she says it is the law to stop. "We in no way want to just advocate and blanket to people that you don't have to stop for a police car just because it's dark. No. That will lead to nothing but chaos and problems and that's not the law," says Trooper Dark.
  DPS says it has distinctly marked patrol vehicles, so there should be no confusion. The light bar across the top with a siren attached, a P.A. system, the words "State Trooper" are decaled on their cruisers and reflect at night.
  Trooper Dark offered these other suggestions, "There's nothing wrong with slowing down and pulling to the side of the road and waiting to identify that person. You're in your vehicle, you can lock your doors, your window can be up until you see the uniformed officer standing there." 
  Krone says she emailed Texas DPS after seeing our story: Their Public Information Officer replied with these suggestions to signal to a trooper you intend to stop: Decrease speed to 20 mph, activate your hazard lights, call 911 to verify a legitimate officer is pulling you over and, interestingly enough, their fourth suggestion, drive to a well-lit, populated area. 
  "There's really a catch-22 in this situation as to what you do," says Krone. "They also reiterated in their response to me that it is required by law to pullover, even if it's not a well-lit area."  
  Krone says she's still left a little confused on what to do in the future. Know from DPS' standpoint, that if you don't stop for an emergency vehicle you are breaking the law, no matter what time of day.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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