New unmarked car gives state troopers an advantage

EVERETT, Wash. - Washington State Patrol troopers and other law enforcement officials in the state are driving an unmarked car not yet available to the public. The 2014 Chevy Caprice sports a six-liter engine that has 355 horsepower and can go from zero to 60 mph in 5.91 seconds.

Most motorists have no idea a trooper is sitting inside the Caprice watching their every move.

One of those unsuspecting drivers pulled in front of trooper Ernie Gerrer on Friday morning without giving enough defensible driving space. Gerrer turned on his lights and pulled the car over.

"Do you have any idea how much room was between your car and my car when you made that lane change?" Gerrer asked the driver through his open passenger window.

The driver, Peter Yi, later told KOMO News: "My hearted started pounding, of course - yeah, just getting nervous, just thinking, 'Do I have all my stuff with me? Did I forget my wallet?'"

Hundreds of drivers are getting surprises just like Yi. The Caprice has only patrolled Snohomish County for one month and most drivers are unaware an officer is inside watching them.

Troopers in unmarked cars are targeting texting motorists, speeders and reckless drivers.

Yi says he understands the mission.

"Guilty," he admits. "I guess I was trying to get in to that exit there, so it was a close call."

Trooper Gerrer says his undercover car gives him an advantage. It helps him to see how drivers behave when they think no officers are around. On average he writes between 15 to 20 tickets a day.

The public can drive the Chevy Caprice in 2014 after it goes on sale.