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Pennsylvania State Police Announce Pursuit Statistics

The Pennsylvania State Police announced Monday that the number of pursuits across the state increased in 2011.  Pennsylvania police were involved in 1,453 vehicle pursuits last year, a slight increase over the 1,413 pursuits reported in 2010.

A pursuit is initiated by police “when the driver of the vehicle is resisting the apprehension by maintaining or increasing his speed or by ignoring the police officer’s audible or visual signal to stop.”

According to the press release, thirteen pursuit-related deaths were reported in 2011. Twelve of those killed were fleeing from police; one death involved an uninvolved person. No Pennsylvania police officers were killed as the result of pursuits. However, in a case we reported in February, a West Virginia policeman died in the midst of a pursuit that crossed the PA line.

Many police chases result in serious car accidents.  Last year, 546 of the pursuits resulted in 731 crashes, with 208 of those crashes resulting in injuries.

“Failing to stop for police is often glamorized in movies and video games,” said State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan. “But in real-life, there can be dire and tragic consequences. Don’t run from police – it’s not worth it.”

Other information released regarding Pennsylvania police pursuits last year included:

  • Nearly half of all the pursuits (730) were initiated because of traffic violations, including speeding.
  • The other most common reasons for police to initiate pursuits were driving under the influence or suspected DUI (240); felony criminal offenses (208); and stolen or suspected stolen vehicles (127).
  • 1,049 pursuits resulted in the ultimate apprehension of the fleeing motorist.
  • 57.7 percent of the apprehensions were accomplished using a trailing pursuit, in which officers simply follow the violator’s vehicle in attempt to bring it to a stop. Trailing pursuits are the least aggressive type of pursuit.

Our Pennsylvania truck accident lawyers encourage Pennsylvania motorists to stop when a police officer indicates you should pull over.  Running from a police officer is not only dangerous, it can also result in additional charges when caught.  If you have been injured as the result of a police pursuit, contact an experienced accident attorney to understand your rights.

About Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys

Munley Law is a Pennsylvania accident and injury law firm that represents car accident victims and their families throughout the state of Pennsylvania and the Northeast, including those injured in accidents that involve speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, fatigued driving, aggressive driving and careless driving in hazardous weather conditions. The Pennsylvania personal injury law firm’s additional practice areas include trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, toxic chemicals, workplace injuries, nursing home litigation and other serious accidents. To contact the law firm, use the firm’s online contact form.

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