Thursday, January 06, 2005

Limiting Police Car Chases

Decided to blog about local events today.
Apparently there is some controversy regarding a technique that police use to prevent suspects from fleeing by car. The technique is called the "PIT maneuver" (Precision Immobilization Technique) and involves deliberately bumping the getaway car on a rear corner, causing the vehicle to spin out of control.
There are obviously limits to this method, and the police have restrictions as to when they can use it, like not after the chace gets high-speed.
But according to the attorney general of Oregon, the crash should go on the officer's personal driving record.
However, the DMV does not agree.
That wasn't exactly the answer cops around the state, or even DMV officials, expected. At this point, the DMV is choosing not to follow the state's legal advice. Instead, it plans to lobby alongside police officers to change the law this year.
The Multnomah County sheriff's office says that the maneuver is "the best way to end pursuits quickly and safely before they reach high speeds." Considering how dangerous chases are, I'm surprised that the state is making their job more difficult in this matter.
This maneuver is used in most states. Here's a better perspective from, explaining why training is necessary to execute the maneuver correctly and that restrictions must be followed. Doing this at high speeds to cars with higher centers of gravity can cause the car to roll and kill the passengers.

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