Article From 2013 Predicted Police Chases Were Going Away

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Article From 2013 Predicted Police Chases Were Going Away
Article From 2013 Predicted Police Chases Were Going Away

Police chases are fascinating to a number of people for different reasons. For us it’s interesting to see how a suspect in a specific vehicle does against police cars in what’s essentially a down-and-dirty race. For others perhaps they’re vicariously living some fantasy. Some people just love watching the ensuing destruction. But one thing’s for sure: police chases are still going on today.

Spike strips end a police chase in an unusual way.

But back in 2013, Popular Mechanics ran an op-ed explaining that police chases were becoming a thing of the past. Here we are eleven years later and that’s far from the truth. It’s easy to laugh at such a wildly inaccurate prediction, but understanding why the author got it so wrong is more informative.


For starters, the author cites increasingly restrictive pursuit policies at law enforcement agencies all over the country. You’ve probably heard plenty about those lately because they’re often controversial. And they haven’t stopped criminals from driving recklessly at high speeds.

In fact, in some areas those policies have been relaxed or even reversed. One of the most notable examples is the state of Washington.

Sure, sometimes cops get overly eager and pursue as recklessly as the criminals they’re trying to catch. Those chases have ended in disaster, injuring or even killing innocent members of the public. But there are many more examples of law enforcement using good practices, catching dangerous criminals, ending threats to public safety.

The author also claims most who flee police aren’t dangerous felons, but instead are “usually 20-something males with bad driving records.” Everyone can debate whether this is true or not, but we haven’t seen definitive data to corroborate or refute such a claim. And fantastic claims require fantastic evidence.

With crime on the rise for years now, many are clamoring for police to put the clamps down on criminals. That includes stopping them when they flee lawful traffic stops. People can and do argue about whether policies set in place back in 2013 have at least to an extent set the table for our current out-of-control crime situation.

Today, a growing number realize restricting police chases to the aggressive extent which has been done in the past perhaps isn’t the best policy. In other words, police chases never went away and they probably never will.

Image via CopWatch 247/YouTube

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