The National Driver BLOG
High-Speed Chase Strategies Used By The Police
Cars are not only becoming more faster, they are becoming more sophisticated in manoeuvre. The rise of innovation lead to prosperity but in the wrong
hands, leads to danger.
In a police pursuit, whereby catching up to a vehicle and attempting to stop it from causing more havoc and danger the police have to resort to many
Nearly 40% of high-speed police pursuits result in crashes. Police are finding more ways to safely end high speed chases using new technologies and classic
methods in order to minimize risk to the general public.
1. Tyre-Deflation Devices
Police use tyre-deflation devices called ‘stingers’ or ‘spike strips’. These are one of the most effective tools police have at their disposal when
attempting to neutralise a high-speed pursuit.
Stingers consist of 3 or 4 feet of interlinked tubes that contain quills or hollow spikes. When thrown in the path of a fleeing vehicle, the tyres will
begin to deflate but aren’t destroyed completely, thus reducing the risk of a crash or other accident.
2. Tagging and Tracking Devices
In situations when a vehicle flees at a rate of speed too high to chase, a tracking device can be used instead to minimize risk of killing innocent people
in the chase. An air launcher with a laser scope is used to fire a tracking projectile which can then be tracked on a digital roadmap so patrol units who
can meet the fleeing vehicle at its destination.
3. Pursuit Immobilization Technique
The pursuit immobilization technique allows officers to stop a fleeing vehicle by tapping into the back of it with the front of their cruiser with just
enough force to force it into a spin. Though the maneuver can be risky, it can come in handy when traffic is sparse.
4. Deadly Force
If the pursuit has been ongoing for a while and poses increasingly greater risk to innocent bystanders, police may fire their weapons at the driver of the
fleeing vehicle if given the chance, or at least their tyres, however this is likely to be avoided if possible since gunfire increases the risk of
accidental death to bystanders as well.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that potentially deadly force may be used to end a high speed chase when it poses a risk to the public, as demonstrated in
the 2007 case of Timothy Scott vs. Victor Harris.
Longest Car Chase
History’s longest-running car chase was from Germany and lasted for 620 miles. Three armed men were arrested by Ukranian police after a 2-day chase through
Germany and Poland. The 1,000km (620 mile) pursuit began after a bank robbery in Wrestedt, Germany.
Most Famous Car Chase
Ah, good ole’ OJ Simpson. Up to 20 Police cruisers and helicopters followed the now famous white Ford Bronco down I-405 in California at 56 km/h (35 miles
per hour) for nearly an hour and a half. With news helicopters following, the chase was viewed live by 95 million people!
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