Police/Roadside Assistance in Mexico
If you are pulled over by the police, be prepared with pen and paper in your car to write down the police car number, the policeman's badge number and name, the time and location. There are unethical cops everywhere, and having this info before you hand over your license and registration may prevent a "false stop" from going further. "Call their bluff" by saying "Dame mi multa, por favor" (Give me my ticket please), especially if you feel you weren't breaking any laws. We have a dashcam that records speed, but there are also free dashcam apps available for your smartphone that you can enable before crossing the border.
If the officer does try to ticket you DO NOT pay him on the spot. (This bribe is also called a mordida.) He may even say "You'll have to follow me to the Police station to get your license back." Go to the station, your fine will be reduced by half, and you can continue on. It's true they get paid very little, but don't add to the corruption that gives Mexico a bad reputation.
Both Sonoyta and Puerto Peñasco have been working hard to make the police forces better. If you get stopped in Sonoyta and asked for a bribe, the local government wants to know about it. Please report the experience to 651-512-1172 or 651-101-7145 or email ContraloriaSocialSonoyta@hotmail.com. In Peñasco, report any shady police activity to 638-388-6552.
Please print these two files to keep on your dashboard during your visit for extra support.
For roadside assistance at any time, call 078 to reach bilingual operators that can summon help for medical, mechanical, and even criminal issues. There's a wonderful service called the Green Angels (Angeles Verdes) funded by the Mexican Tourism department who patrol Highway 8 from Sonoyta to Puerto Peñasco from 8am - 6pm. They offer FREE bilingual assistance in case of a breakdown, accident, flat tire and even are trained in CPR and first aid. Pull your car to the shoulder and raise the hood to alert them. You'll only be responsible for the cost of any parts, gas, etc., and if they can't get you rolling again, they'll coordinate a tow. (A tip would be very appreciated, though.)
In addition to the 24/7 operator above, you can also reach the police for emergencies by dialing 911.