High speed cop car chases, are they worth it?
With the evolution of communication technology I wonder the value of high speed police pursuits. It seems that by using police band radio and cell phones most of these chases could be avoided and still result in apprehension. My primary concern is with the unnecessary deaths that have resulted from this activity.
The following is taken from and August 2015 article in USA today:
During the 24 year period from 1979 to 2013 there were almost 12,000 fatalities resulting from high speed chases by police vehicles. Of these 6,301 were the deaths of those being pursued (in at least one case for running a red light and in another for failure to turn on head lights), 5,066 were of innocent bystanders or other non-violators in vehicles and 139 were police officers.
Another consideration is the need for high powered police cruisers. We might need to consider lower powered and more fuel efficient vehicles and replace the high speed chase with efficient communications among law enforcement? It is interesting to note that most European countries utilize small economy units as police vehicles. Despite what we see in Hollywood’s chase scenes most of these vehicles are not chase capable.