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New Analysis Says High-Speed Police Chases Kill One Person A Day

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High-speed car chases have caused over 11,500 deaths since 1979

For many people, high-speed police chases have become the norm. Whether it’s on the latest episode of Cops or featured on the 5 o’clock news, police chases are quickly becoming a common form of entertainment—but not for everyone. A recent study done by USA Today has found that more than 11,500 people have been killed in police car chases since 1979, with tens of thousands more injured.

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While it’s understandable that the occasional police chase is a must—especially for major infractions like kidnappings, bank robberies, and other federal crimes—the use of this chase tactic for minor infractions is slightly unnecessary, especially since it can have deadly repercussions.

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Across the United States, police continue to pursue drivers at high speeds and in hazardous conditions, typically running through traffic lights at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. The infractions that cause the high-speed police chases aren’t necessarily the most reasonable. For instance, a 63-year-old grandmother was killed June 7th in Indianapolis by a driver police chased four miles after shoplifting. In another case, a 60-year-old federal worker was killed on March 19th near Washington, DC as police chased a driver simply because his headlights were off.

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And it’s not just innocent bystanders that are at risk during high-speed car chases. Federal records show that at least 139 police officers have been killed in high-speed chases. Despite the Justice Department’s movement towards preventing high-speed police chases, including efforts to urge police department listing exactly when offers can and cannot pursue someone, there are still more police chases per year than police shootings.

Hopefully, more police departments across the country will start implementing the policies that the Justice Department is requesting. Better yet, with a bit of luck, the Justice Department can pass a new law that requires these specific policies.

News Source: USA Today