Each year, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) makes over 4 million vehicle enforcement stops. A significant number of these vehicle stops escalate into a pursuit situation. How an officer responds during a pursuit can mean the difference between life or death. In a pursuit study conducted by the CHP and published in 1983, of 683 pursuits studied, 130 (19%) of the violators attempted to flee to avoid being arrested for driving while under the influence. Other common reasons included avoiding a citation, fleeing in a stolen vehicle, and avoiding an arrest for a penal code violation. The first stage in a pursuit is the decision of whether or not to stop the violator. The second stage is when the violator becomes aware of the officer's intention to pull the car over and he or she decides to evade arrest. The third and final stage is when the officer decides to pursue the violator. Conditioning, attitude, and training each play an important role in bringing a pursuit to a conclusion without injury to the officer, the suspect, or the public. Also important is a comprehensive written pursuit policy to enhance the officer's ability to make key judgment decisions during a pursuit. Each of these requirements is discussed in detail in this article.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    9th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20535
  • Authors:
    • Abbott, L
  • Publication Date: 1988-11

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 7-11
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00490090
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-040 535
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 31 1990 12:00AM