by Ariana Jensen
Bystanders, passengers, and innocent people are being injured when police chase criminals running from the law. In the U.S. alone, there has been tens of thousands of injuries and fatalities due to police car chases.
Since 1979, an estimate of 11,506 people were killed in police chases, averaging to 329 per year, almost one person every day. The seriousness of this topic is clearly evident the news and statistics. Dillan Harris, a 13-month old child, just an innocent bystander, was hit by a car fleeing from the police.
Because of these numbers, police departments are looking into ways they can decrease the deaths and injuries. In some states they have made rules that only allow the police to chase a car in extreme cases. This rule has helped with a decrease in the death toll.
When asked about police car chases, junior Cody Buckley stated, “They are dangerous for pedestrians and other drivers on the road as the high speed chase put them in inherent danger that they wouldn’t usually be in. They are however necessary in order to track down and apprehend culprits. With advanced planning and uses of road blocks and spike traps, however, the danger and length of the chases can be decreased.”
Another way police departments are trying to make it easier to catch these drivers is by tagging cars. This is done by a GPS shooting from the front of the police car onto the one it’s chasing. That way, the police can stop the chase and that will lead to the other car slowing down.
These chases can be scary for everyone but especially teen and elderly drivers. New driver Justin Rasmussen said, “As a relatively new driver on the road, I find that a high speed car chase can be dangerous for a many people. I am very aware of my surroundings and know that cars that go an excessive speed can cause accidents.”
With stricter rules and new technologies, one can only hope something can help and decrease the number these tragedies.