Traditionally, roadblocks and checkpoints are used to cast a wide net that targets hundreds of motorists, but some may be using it will ill intentions. In a SHTF type of emergency, roadways could be used to set up traps to get unsuspecting travelers to pull over and be mugged, stolen from, or worse. With that in mind, there are a few ways to spot a nefarious roadblock that you will want to avoid after the SHTF.
Some believe roadside checkpoint tactics are used to intimidate travelers and allow police or even private citizens to abuse individuals they choose to target for whatever reason. In fact, during the initial COVID pandemic lockdown in April of 2020, several states, including Rhode Island, Florida, and Texas, took the unprecedented step of setting up border checkpoints to stop nonresidents who might be carrying the virus. Concerned citizens in Colorado used roadblocks to try to control those who were out. Colorado drivers reported being pulled over at a roadblock checking for coronavirus lockdown violators, but police say they haven’t conducted any blocks, according to their Facebook post. These fake roadblocks and checkpoints are a thing, so it’s important to be able to spot them from afar.
Questions arise on whether or not this is constitutional.
Legal experts say state governments and police have broad power in a public health emergency, including the authority to order a quarantine.But some say that some checkpoints appear to violate constitutional protections of free travel.
Meryl Chertoff, an attorney and law professor leading the Georgetown Project on State and Local Government Policy and Law, said the Constitution prohibits one state from discriminating against residents of another unless there is no less-restrictive means to accomplish a legitimate goal.
Staying alert and knowing what to look for is the most important thing when you need to decide whether to trust a roadblock or not. There are situations a person may find themselves in where they come upon a suspicious roadblock or checkpoint. This video is a good example of what one motorist came upon one night:
Roadblocks During Emergencies
During an emergency, be suspicious of roadblocks as they could be used to rob and steal your precious resources. These are some SHTF roadblocks tips to keep in mind. It’s always beneficial to be skeptical of all roadblocks until you have confirmation one way or the other.
If you do start to suspect that a roadblock could be nefarious, try to remember to keep these tips in mind:
- Keep a heightened sense of awareness around curves and hills.
- Look for police officers with badges and police cars.
- Keep car doors locked and windows rolled up at all times.
- Anyone who suspects they’re being pulled over by a police impersonator should acknowledge the stop by waving their hand out their vehicle window and activating their hazard lights, then drive to a well-lit public area or a police station.
- Police also suggest dialing 911 to tell the dispatcher you are being pulled over and report your location.
- In a dire situation where multiple cars are blocking the road, hit the gas, aim for a smaller vehicle, and try and ram it out of the way to break through the barricade.
Other tips can be used to avoid roadblocks altogether, both now and when/if the SHTF. One such tip is to take backroads or roads that are less traveled. You should also have several alternate routes planned out, just in case. Take roads that have you avoiding cities or towns so you can avoid any roadblock.
Urban Survival Site has some great advice on how to navigate the potentially terroristic roadblocks that you can encounter if some kind of massive emergency surfaces.