NORTH Idaho Real Estate Pro


Help! An unmarked Vehicle with Flashing Light is trying to pull me over......

urban legendhas circulated since 2002 claiming that motorists can dial #77 or *77 to reach the police, or to determine if the unmarked police car behind them is a real "Officer of the Law" or .... etc. As you can see from the map at , #77/*77 is NOT the universal number for the police. Law enforcement recommends you either dial 911 or determine your state's local highway emergency or special circumstance number.

So, if you encounter an unmarked vehicle with flahing lights trying to pull you over, call 911 or your local Highway Notification Number (see below) to determine if it is an officer of the law, before you pull over. Highway Notification Numbers Original source: Missouri Highway Patrol, Dispatch Magazine on-line Updated 9/12/2008

Although 911 has been designated as the "official" number for reporting emergencies in the United States, manyother numbers have been implemented for reporting highway situations: accidents, intoxicated drivers (DUIs), or disabled vehicles. In most cases, dialing these special numbers routes the call to the agency with jurisdiction over the state highways or Interstates, rather than to the local law enforcement agency.

This map does not depict which states allow 911 dialing from wireless phones to report an emergency. Instead, this map show other telephone numbers established by the states to reach a state-level law enforcement agency to report highway situations, some of which could be considered "urgent."

 Highway Notification Numbers

Confusingly, calls to these numbers may also be routed to the same agency that handles emergencies for the highway, resulting in their use by motorists for actual emergencies.

Take Kansas: they have 911 service that reaches local or county agencies, but the Kansas Highway Patrol advertises three numbers: 911, *HP (to reach the Highway Patrol directly) and *KTA (to reach the Highway Patrol for turnpike-related matters).

And continuing the confusion, if you're traveling adjacent to a state boundary such as Virginia, Maryland and DC, dialing one of these special numbers could connect you with... well, who knows which state or agency you'd hear on the phone? That's the disadvantage of non-standard numbers, and of wireless phones whose signal can go in all directions.

This map was originally developed by the Missouri Highway Patrol, and has been periodically updated by DISPATCH Magazine On-Line. Let us know of any errors or changes.

Some of the alternate uses for the above numbers include:

  • The Iowa State Patrol Web site for a list of mobile emergency numbers.
  • Nextel has a list of # and * associated numbers for highway assistance.
  • We have a report that Colorado also has the number *CSP for reaching the State Patrol from wireless phones.
  • In Kansas, motorists can dial *KTA while on the turnpike.
  • In Illinois, the number *999 number is operated jointly by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority and the state's DOT, and is intended for "emergencies," which the Authority defines generally as being "stranded" on the tollway.
  • On the Indiana toll-road, *11 reaches the state police
  • In Louisiana, *24 reaches the Coast Guard
  • Dialing *555 in Prince George's and Montgomery County (Md.) reaches the Park Police
  • Dialing *11 reaches Emergency Operations for the Pennsylvania Turnpike
  • Dialing *ISP in Idaho is intended to report DUI drivers.

I would love to help you find your North Idaho Dream!  Please contact me to find your next home.  Use my free MLS home search "Portal."  Your North Idaho Real Estate Pro:

Pam Jank, Realtor, ABR, GRI, CRS, RSPS, PPS
Previews Property Specialist
Web:  Coeur d'Alene Idaho Homes for Sale
Phone:  208-661-2282
Fax:  208-772-628 Toll Free:  800-829-2555 EXT.1275
435 W. Hanley Avenue
Coeur d'Alene, ID  838315 

ABR Designation - Accredited buyer's representativeGRI Designation - Graduate Realtor InsituteCRS Designation - Certified Residential SpecialistRSPS Designation - Resort & Second Home Property SpecialistPreviews Property Specialist Designation



Pam Jank, CRS, GRI, ABR, CNE, RRS, Realtor(c)Pam Jank, CRS, GRI, ABR, CNE, RRS, Realtor(c)
Your North Idaho Real Estate Pro - Your Free Local MLS Property Search Link
208-661-2282 or Toll Free 800-829-2555 ext. 1275
Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty
1924 Northwest Blvd, Coeur d'Alene ID 83814


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Comment balloon 2 commentsPam Jank • November 06 2009 04:18PM


Very interenting Pam and have you been very busy or just on break?

By the way my license plate on my car reads 777S

VB ;o)

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz over 10 years ago

Pam, great information, there are too many urban legends and as the old saying goes to stop it we need to correct it and spread the word. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, your,Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) over 10 years ago