High speed pursuit causes multiple deaths in California.
Posted on Aug 20, 2009
After eight people were killed over the weekend in a high-speed police pursuit in central California, questions are now being debated over whether the pursuit of traffic violators in this way is the most valuable use of police manpower.
No one is debating that police officers have a difficult job. The question most raised is that if a traffic violator flees the scene, is it worth the possibility of probable traffic accidents and possible deaths? According to the Department of Justice’s new report out on emergency police pursuits, there is a 4 in 10 chance of a pursuit ending in some type of accident. The police train for high speed pursuits but in 80% of the crashes, the fleeing vehicle crashes.
Last week in Orange County police chased a mini-van going the wrong way at 100+mph through red lights along Beach Blvd in Fountain Valley. Police chased the car until they lost sight of the vehicle. Soon afterwards the driver crashed into another vehicle. The suspect was initially taken to the hospital for his injuries and then booked at the Orange County jail for evading police and DUI.
Unfortunately according to Suzanne Leslie of Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, the "offender rarely has any insurance to pay for property damage, injury and loss of life. Worse the government is immune from paying for the damages even if they did not follow police procedures." Police pursuit is necessary but crashes have to be prevented by early and quick response and affirmative action to stop the car before the accident can harm the public.