Thursday, May 26, 2005

Another "driver behind you with lights" legend

My mother in law just forwarded this along. She'll probably be a good source throughout the class for email urban legends. The following is cut and pasted directly from the email.

Subject: Its about the *677 feature on cell phones

I knew about the red light on cars, but not the *677.

It was about 1PM in the afternoon, and Lauren was driving to visit a friend. An UNMARKED police car pulled up behind her and put his lights on. Lauren's parents have 4 children (high school and college age) and have always told them never to pull over for an unmarked car on the side of the road, but rather wait until they get a gas station, etc. Lauren had actually listened to her parents advice, and promptly called *677 on her cell phone to tell the police dispatcher that she would not pull over right away.

She proceeded to tell the dispatcher that there was an unmarked police car with a flashing red light on his rooftop behind her. The dispatcher checked to see if there were police cars where she was and there weren't, and he told her to keep driving, remain calm and that he had back up already on the way. Ten minutes later 4 cop cars surrounded her and the unmarked car behind her. One policeman went to her side and the others surrounded the car behind. They pulled the guy from the car and tackled him to the ground. The man was a convicted rapist and wanted for other crimes.

I never knew about the *677 Cell Phone Feature, but especially for a woman alone in a car, you should not pull over for an unmarked car.

Apparently police have to respect your right to keep going to a "safe" place. You obviously need to make some signals that you acknowledge them (i.e. put on your hazard lights) or call *677 like Lauren did. Too bad the cell phone companies don't generally give you this little bit of wonderful information.

Speaking to a service representative at "Bell" Mobility confirmed that *677 was a direct link to Police Dispatch. So, now it's your turn to let friends know about *677.

Send this to every woman you know, it may save a life.

Has anyone ever actually heard of Bell Mobility? When I dialed *677 from my own phone, I got 3 beeps and then nothing.


Blogger Tanya said...

I've actually heard this one quite a bit, but I've never heard of anyone actually using *677. I've seen signs on highways advertising other helpline numbers, but never *677.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Kaitlin C. said...

I've heard this one too, but I think the way I heard it the number was different. It screams fiction (how could he be a 'convicted rapist', and yet not incarcerated, but still wanted for other crimes? where is his parole officer?) but if there is some truth behind it, such an actual number to call police dispatchers, that would be good to know.

11:22 AM  
Blogger meghan koch said...

After reading that urban legend I found myself wondering why we don't have a number to call if being followed by a suspicious person, shouldn't we???...I've never actually dialed 911, but I've been told that it's very difficult to even get through in the amount of time necessary during an emergency situation. Maybe that's an urban legend too...I don't know. I think this "driver behind you with lights" story originates from canada, because the fake number here is 77, I think. I think a good rule of thumb here though is to be suspicious of all unmarked vehicles...but that may just be me being overly sensible.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*677 is a real phone number from Bell Mobility, connecting you to the OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) - a Canadian phone company. Look here:

Nevertheless, I'm sure this is a bogus email.

12:34 PM  

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