The high-speed chases you see on TV crime shows can be intensely exciting. In real life, those same types of pursuits can be frightening and sometimes deadly. When you hear of a high pursuit chase, you may think the person being chased is some type of wanted criminal or, at the very least, a person with a record or someone who has committed some heinous crime.
Occasionally, this may be the case. More often than not, the person running from police is doing so out of fear or, as in one case, just for fun. Expired tags, empty beer cans in the truck bed, and small amounts of drugs are the catalyst for many people fleeing law enforcement officers.
The Florida Highway Patrol has stipulated in the Florida Patrol Policy Manual that giving chase can only happen when the responder has reason to believe the suspects have committed a felony offense, are driving recklessly or are driving under the influence (DUI.) One or more of these conditions need to be met in order for an officer to pursue a suspect.
Lower Rates of High Pursuit Chases
Thanks to regulations limiting when officers can engage in a high pursuit chase, these instances are rare. After analyzing the outcome of high pursuit chases, many states decided to limit when they can take place. The damage and loss of life as a result of high-speed chases was not worth the cost, considering that, in the majority of cases, the people who were being chased had not committed any major crimes.
Being Aware of a Chase
Even though they happen rarely, they do happen occasionally, and if one happens while you are on the road, you need to know how to avoid getting hurt. Always being alert and driving defensively is the way to keep safe on the road. Never take another driver’s actions for granted. If you drive expecting the unexpected, you have a better chance of avoiding collisions.
If a car passes you at a high speed, check your rearview mirror for a pursuing police car. Florida Law requires that you pull over to the closest edge of the roadway and stop until the emergency vehicle has passed. This is what officers will expect.
High pursuit chases often end in tragedy. The law offices of Frohlich, Gordon, and Beason, P.A., are highly skilled specialists in personal injury law. Our offices are conveniently located in the southwestern Florida cities of North Port, Englewood and Port Charlotte. If you have a personal injury or wrongful death case, give us a call. Let us schedule a free initial consultation for you.