'How do I escape the police in a high-speed car chase?'


Simple: elude law enforcement in a jurisdiction with a strict pursuit policy. There is so much liability at play in a pursuit situation that many departments are getting very conservative in their response protocols to situations like this. So think about the following:

Communication. Every involved officer, as well as their supervisors and their supervisors' supervisors, have radios, both in-car and portable on their person. Can you dial your phone and drive with one hand at 120mph while you coordinate with accomplices miles down the road? Probably not.

Collaboration. If a pursuit has been sanctioned, the longer it goes on, the more officers are going to be in on the hunt. Have fun with that.

Convergence. You can go in one direction at a time, but law enforcement response to your location will be omnidirectional. You simply cannot go fast enough to counter this.

Contraptions. Hope you've got solid rubber tires, because if the police get a lock on your direction of flight, you're getting spiked. Now you're limited to 15 to 20 miles per hour, and you're in danger of your vehicle catching fire from the spraying sparks. Meanwhile, the police are moving into point position for when you make a run for it.

Concentration. How often do you drive in this manner? Sure, you've driven fast before – for a while. Then, for whatever reason, you got uncomfortable and backed off. You have no such luxury here. And while this is fresh for you, this is, to many of the people pursuing you, another day.

Cognisance. Unless you've driven on your path of flight for decades, I can almost guarantee you do not know it as well as your pursuers do.

Conveyances. Your escape vehicle is precious, because there is only one. If a police car has a blow-out, it will be replaced by another.

Control. What is your flight plan – are you going to rely on top-end speed or are you going to try to lose officers in an intricate series of turns? You've got a tall order ahead, either way.

As you may have gathered, I am of the opinion that there is no right answer to this question. Vehicle pursuits never end well. The vast majority of the time, the suspect ends up needing medical attention by the time it's over. Take all the liberties you want with your own life and death – but running from the police puts scores of people in harm's way, even for a short pursuit.

No matter the charge or the perceived consequences, never run from the police.

Justin Freeman, former patrol officer

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