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Mark Favaloro
Mark Favaloro
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Fewer Police Car Chases Make Norfolk Roads Safer

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High-speed chases are the highlights of many movie, all blaring sirens, flashing lights and crashing vehicles. But real-life police pursuits put people's lives at risk and often cause costly property damage.

It is welcome news, then, that the Virginian-Pilot is reporting police car chases in Norfolk, Virginia (VA), have declined over the last few years. Still, in April 2012, a pursuit of a speeding suspect ended with the fleeing driver crashing into another car and injuring a woman in the vehicle he hit.

We are all thankful for the commitment that police officers make to protect the public, as they often put their own lives in danger to do so. However, because of the risks to innocent bystanders, law enforcement personnel need to use good judgment when pursuing suspecta. Factors to be considered include how many other cars are on the road, how familiar the officer is with the area and how close the chase would be to schools or residential neighborhoods. The seriousness of the crime that the suspect may have committed is also a factor, as is whether or not the suspect could be apprehended later in a safer manner. If the suspect may have committed a violent crime, police officers are allowed to pursue, regardless of the situation.

Hopefully, training will continue to reduce the number of police pursuits, which will in turn reduce the risk to others on the road.


About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.