Dom Post on Police Chases

A good editorial:

The grief of parents who have lost sons and daughters, killed in high-speed chases, is wholly understandable.

But, in the wake of an Independent Police Conduct Authority report questioning the value of many police pursuits, one fact needs to be borne in mind.

Drivers have a choice when they hear a police siren. They can pull over to the side of the road as the majority do. Or they can try to escape police.

And parents should wonder about their role in the tragedy that ensures, if their kids even consider trying to outspeed the Police, let alone actually doing so.

When chases end in death or serious injury, as occurred 137 times in a five-year period studied by the authority, it is the drivers who tried to outrun the police who bear responsibility for the human toll. That is not something for which they, or their parents, can shift the blame.

And a policy of let them get away if they drive fast enough actually just encourages people to drive even faster when fleeing.

Those with the power to take the risk out of the equation are the individuals tempted to depress the accelerator pedal rather than the brake when they hear a police siren.

It is a power the parents of all driving-age children should remind their offspring of. The consequences of a wrong decision can be tragic for them, their families, their friends, police and complete strangers.

If the Police were allowed to shoot at fleeing vehicles, I’m pretty sure that would reduce the number of police chases also!

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