Are Unmarked Police Cars Legal?

Because truck drivers spend so much time on the road, they tend to be quite sensitive to traffic laws and the way they are enforced. Following the law is critical to keeping safe and remaining employed. Areas of confusion and debate are very important to truckers. One topic that won’t go away is that of unmarked police cars, when and where they are legal and whether or not a truck driver believes they should be on the road in the first place.

These days, unmarked cop cars are on the rise in states like New York, where SUVs are being used by state police to catch texting drivers. These cars lack any the lights and vehicle markings typical of a police car. There are even cases in other parts of the world where police are actually driving unmarked commercial trucks to keep an eye on others.

Of course, the argument in favor of unmarked police cars is that they help to keep the roads safer by keeping an eye on drivers without their immediate knowledge. After all, they should be following the law anyway, and should have no problems at all if they adhere to the rules of the road.  Marked cars make are too easy to spot, allowing drivers to quickly slow down or put away their cell phone. Makes sense, right?

Mostly, yes. But many truck drivers remain uncomfortable with the practice and its seemingly increasing frequency. Perfectly visible marked cars do enough to keep traffic at a reasonable pace, opponents of unmarked cars argue. Also, pulling over for an unmarked car can be dangerous, especially for truck drivers who are transporting a valuable load of goods that might be targeted by an imposter. Overall, it’s just a little too much secrecy, a little too “Big Brother”, and a slippery slope towards an invasion of privacy.

In the end, however, it doesn’t really matter what the opinions of an individual driver are. They are still required to follow the law as it stands. The problem is that the laws regarding unmarked police cars are different in every state. Some states restrict unmarked police cars to certain times of day, while some only allow unmarked cars to perform certain duties. The best way to be prepared for any given job is to know the laws on the books of each state you need to drive through.

While the debate surrounding unmarked police cars will undoubtedly rage on, the behavior of truck drivers should remain consistent. Truckers and their employers are best off staying within the bounds of existing laws to maintain good driving records and safe roads for all. For CDL driver staffing and placement services, contact Platinum Drivers today.