COLUMBIA (WACH) - We all know that you should pull over when a police officer comes up behind you and turns on the blue lights.
But when should you be a little more cautious?
"We encourage people to be cautious if it's at night, it's an unmarked police car, and you're not in a well travelled area." says Brian Buck, the Irmo Chief of Police.
If you find yourself in an area that makes you uncomfortable, there are some steps you can take to let the officer behind you know you see them and you are simply trying to get to a better location.
"We encourage everybody, men and women, to at least acknowledge the officer's behind you. Turn on your four way flashers, if it's inclement weather, put your hand up so you can wave so the officer can see you through the back window. If it's nice weather, put down your driver's side window and wave out the driver's side window." Buck states.
And continue driving cautiously until you can get to a safe spot.
"Just continue at the speed limit and pull into a place that is a well-lit parking lot or pull over on a road that is a well travelled road with lots of people going by. A real police officer is not going to mind that at all. We prefer to be in well lit areas when we're doing traffic stops." explains Buck.
You can also always call 911 if you're feeling hesitant about a police stop. All you have to do is explain to the dispatcher exactly where you are and they can check and make sure that you are indeed part of a legitimate police stop.
" If it's a real police officer, we don't mind having 911 verify that we're pulling somebody over." concludes Buck.
In the end, it's about working with law enforcement to make sure everyone stays safe.