Accidents Resulting from Police High Speed Pursuits And Responses to Emergency Calls

In order to exploit the public interests in watching such risky chases by police officers, some television channels are currently telecasting such chases. However, it should be noted that many of these risky chases often end up in severe accidents. Both the offenders and the chasers suffer accidents and severe injuries because of high speed police pursuits. There are plenty of incidents in which lawsuits arise against the government and the police as a result of high speed police pursuits.
There is a hot national debate ongoing concerning when, if at all, police should be involved in high-speed pursuits. One side says that police should use their discretion and should not terminate a chase merely because of an increased risk to the public. The opposite view is that by chasing an offender, the police magnify the risk of injury to the general public (Sanderson, n. d., p.2). It is difficult for the police to act as silent witnesses when people violate laws. The purpose of police force is to enforce the implementation of law and order in a society or country. This purpose will not be served if police officers remain idle when people violate law and order. At the same time, it is the duty of the police officers to catch or arrest the offenders in a safe manner. It should be noted that the risky chasing of the offenders may cause danger not only to the offender and the chasers but also to the innocent people.
Accidents resulting from responses to emergency calls are also substantial in volume in America. It should be noted that the first hour immediately after the road accidents are critical in saving the lives of the injured people. In an attempt to reach the site as quickly as possible, traffic police often forced to drive their vehicle in high speeds. These high speed driving often end up in unexpected accidents in which both the police and the innocent people suffer injuries or death. In short, unintentional or unexpected accidents due to high speed police pursuits and responses to emergency calls are growing day by day in America and different lawsuits are arising as a result of that. This paper analyses the legal dimensions of accidents caused by high speed police pursuits and responses to emergency calls. Review of Literature “Police pursuits contribute to traffic violation, loss of officers, and death or injury of innocent people. According to a study by Jeff Martin, fleeing suspects create tragedies despite the efforts to terminate pursuits” (Schultz et al., 2010, p.1). Hoffmann &amp. Mazerolle (2005) pointed out that “Police high-speed pursuits present a difficult area for police managers and policy makers because of the important need to balance public safety with the mandate to enforce laws” (Hoffmann &amp. Mazerolle, 2005, p.530). Kaminski et al. (2012) argued that “in vast majority of pursuits, deputies and suspects were uninjured or sustained only minor injuries. In this regard, they do not appear to be any more hazardous than resistive encounters generally” (Kaminski et al., 2012, p.177). However, there are plenty of cases in which the suspects or the police suffer severe injuries and even death as a result of high speed police pursuit. John Hill (2002) pointed out that “police pursuits result in about 350 deaths per year and the number of pursuits increases each year. Moreover, about 2,500 persons die each year as a result of police pursuits and that another 55,000 are injured” (Hill, 2002, p.14-15). A study conducted by Rivara &amp. Mack in 2004 to determine the motor vehicle crash deaths related to police pursuits yielded the