Daily Podcast: The Police Chase Stops Here

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

This morning, Frank Williams blogged the AP's report on OnStar's new "Stolen Vehicle Slowdown" (SVS) option. Tick the appropriate box on your OnStar service agreement and the company can legally shut down your engine via remote– should a scrote steal your car. Big Borther issue aside, fair enough. And then I saw the Detroit Free Press' take: "New GM system should curb police chase deaths and injuries." According to the Freep, "With more than 30,000 police chases each year resulting in 300 fatalities and about 7,500 injuries, this unique use of the OnStar technology is being hailed by a wide variety of law enforcement and emergency response organizations." Needless to say, this "wide variety" was represented by a single law enforcement officer. "Once it becomes widespread, about 600 vehicles trying to elude police will be slowed by the system each year." Oh really? Talk about sloppy, doe-eyed, parrot-beaked journalism. The truth is that stolen vehicle chases account for a small percentage of police chases, police cause the majority of police chase deaths, and that the only way to curtail the carnage is to change police chase policy– as many departments have done. Nice try OnsStar. Must try harder Freep.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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4 of 10 comments
  • Johnny Canada Johnny Canada on Oct 10, 2007

    How much does a broad cost these days ? Hiyoooo !! Many thanks, Listener # 4

  • Mechie Mechie on Oct 10, 2007

    With respect to 'Black Box' data (called Event Data Recorders), here in Ontario- the Ontario Provincial Police routinely download EDR data with court orders, typically in crashes involving death or serious injury. You don't always 'own' your EDR data... With respect to OnStar and privacy, their 'privacy' policy spells it all out on their website at: http://www.onstar.com/canada_english/jsp/privacy_policy.jsp They collect a lot of data... And you can only currently opt out of the marketing uses of the data...

  • TexasAg03 TexasAg03 on Oct 11, 2007
    Without arguing semantics, I suggest you pop on over to pursuitwatch.org for a look at the issue of “unnecessary” police chases, and their devastating effect on innocent civilians. I didn't say there is no need for change, just blame the right people. I agree that there should be better, stricter policies in place to govern chases. Thats like saying we shouldn’t blame Hitler for the Holocaust, we should blame is parrents for having him. No, that's like saying we should blame the Allies for the death and destruction caused by Hitler. Hitler is responsible for his actions, not the people trying to stop him.
  • Icatchcriminals Icatchcriminals on Dec 02, 2007

    Thank goodness its not up to you what I do on the job. I chase everything that runs from me while I am in uniform. I hope every person that i chase crashes and dies. its unfortunate when someone innocent gets in the way though. I guess its like getting caught in the crossfire of a war.