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Ban cars...or cops with cars

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Rusher, Aug 9, 2005.

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  1. Rusher

    Rusher Member

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    Thought this might be of interest

    LINK

    Traffic Accidents Replacing Guns as Biggest Threat to Police

    By Rebecca Carroll Associated Press Writer
    Published: Aug 9, 2005






    WASHINGTON (AP) - Officer David Scott was in hot pursuit of a robbery suspect when he swerved to avoid a car trying to get out of his way. His police cruiser crossed into oncoming traffic and was slammed by a pickup truck.
    Scott and his rookie partner in the Clarksville, Tenn., police department, Yamil Baez-Santiago, were killed. The truck driver suffered minor injuries.

    The incident is part of a worrisome trend in law enforcement - more officers are being killed in traffic accidents. Twice in recent years - 1999 and 2003 - car crashes topped guns as the No. 1 killer of on-duty officers.

    While year-to-year variations are common, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which tracks fatalities, said the trend becomes apparent when the numbers are spread over many years. For example, in the decade ending last year, 477 officers died in auto accidents. That was up 29 percent from the 369 of the previous decade and 40 percent from the 342 killed the decade before that.

    There's no single apparent reason for the increase. The Transportation Department keeps statistics on high-speed chases ending in death but doesn't distinguish between police and non-police deaths in other types of accidents. And the high-speed chase deaths alone don't explain the jump.

    Suzie Sawyer, executive director of Concerns of Police Survivors Inc., believes more criminals are using their vehicles to run down officers, though she has only anecdotal evidence. Her group provides emotional support for relatives of police officers killed in the line of duty.

    Memorial Fund spokesman Bruce Mendelsohn points to more drivers using cell phones and other devices that can distract them from the road and make them oblivious to police cars. But he also said officers and their departments may share some of the blame.

    Nearly all law enforcement officers receive driver training. But the standards vary and refresher courses are rarely mandated. Mendelsohn said that leaves some officers ill-prepared for the dangerous driving situations they face. His organization is pushing for more training.

    He also said officers can help themselves by buckling up and wearing body armor. Many don't, complaining the safety devices are cumbersome and restrictive.

    "There's absolutely no doubt in our minds that officers who wear their (body armor) are more protected, both from shootings and from injuries they can sustain from auto accidents," Mendelsohn said. "Step two is providing better training - high-speed driver training, certainly, is expensive, but that cost is nothing compared to the death of an officer."

    Mendelsohn also suggested police departments outfit their vehicles with the kind of seat belts race car drivers use. They latch in front of the driver's chest, not at the lower right hip, allowing more freedom of movement.

    Mike Robb of the Homeland Security Department's Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga., helps run a driver training program for federal officers.

    Robb's training puts officers in the vehicles they'll be using on the job so they can learn to be comfortable driving powerful machines that may differ significantly from their civilian cars. He also tries to prepare officers to make split-second decisions about how to pursue a criminal without endangering the public.

    "There's a stress that goes with these responses," he said.

    Ronald McBride, a retired Ashland, Ky., police chief who now consults for the DuPont Survivors Club, which pushes for officer safety, said greater use of body armor would cut down on traffic deaths. He cited one case where an officer was thrown from his vehicle, then run over by it, but survived. The officer's doctor believes the armor was a lifesaver.

    "They're uncomfortable physically and they're uncomfortable psychologically," McBride said of the vests. "But the cold hard truth is body armor saves lives."
     
  2. thorn726

    thorn726 Member

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    factor in that cars are desgined to consume a resource that causes wars, environmenatal problems, encourages people to go places and do dangerous things= HA! we got THeir argument!
    cars are made to kill, hurt and maim.
    the fun / useful part is secondary.
     
  3. fletcher

    fletcher Member

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    Henceforth, all non-police vehicles must have a GVWR of <2,000 lb, and less than 80 HP to avoid killing police officers, babies, and puppies in wrecks.
     
  4. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

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    +1 fletcher. I've long held the opinion that police cars should be one of two types.

    High end Porches for highway interceptors.

    Yugos for in town patrols.

    :D
     
  5. Vang

    Vang Member

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    fletcher, with that requirement, we might get some interesting police interceptors in the style of the Ariel Atom. I'm all for it, as long as there is some kind of requirement that cops are required to oversteer through any sort of corner they encounter.
     
  6. MikeB

    MikeB Member

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    Another idiot reporter. I'm almost positive Traffic Accidents have been more of a threat to Police than guns since shortly after Police officers started driving cars. I know they have been for at least several decades now.
     
  7. Joejojoba111

    Joejojoba111 Member

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    In a previous thread I asked this and it turns out that guns don't compete with cars, they compete with drowning... Honestly.
     
  8. jcoiii

    jcoiii Member

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    Location:
    NE TN
    Total Line of Duty Deaths: 154
    Aircraft accident: 3
    Automobile accident: 35
    Bomb: 2
    Drowned: 3
    Electrocuted: 1
    Explosion: 1
    Fall: 1
    Gunfire: 53
    Gunfire (Accidental): 4
    Heart attack: 11
    Motorcycle accident: 7
    Stabbed: 1
    Struck by vehicle: 7
    Vehicular assault: 18
    Weather/Natural disaster: 1
    Vehicle pursuit: 6


    These are the stats from the Officer Down Memorial Page from 2004.
    www.odmp.org
     
  9. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    It helps to take—and pass—a pursuit driving course or two.
     
  10. Shield529

    Shield529 Member

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    Its not the cops are bad drivers it boils down to this, I drive 200-220 miles on an avg. day. Some of this at very high speeds on bad roads. At some point in time the odds will catch up with me.
    P.S. I have wrecked seriously two times.
     
  11. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    Those are broken down goofy.

    "Auto accident" and "motorcycle accident" are separate? And "Vehicular pursuit"? What, just the act of pursuing killed them? I'm pretty sure that some cruiser ran into something at some point. :scrutiny:

    This is why I trust statistics for which I cannot see the underlying math about as far as I can hip-toss Roseanne Barr. Make it Roseanne Barr with Rosie O'Donnel ridding piggy back for any stat quoted in the press. ;)

    Some math yields:

    Hostile Gunfire: 53

    Accidents (all types) and vehicular assault: 73

    Cars are more of a threat to everyone (cop, citizen) due to the fact that they're something you use every day. Cops drive every shift. They might get in a couple of shootings (if that) over the course of a whole career.

    Mike
     
  12. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah, and me? two cruisers in for repairs with my name on the routing sheet, and thus far no gunplay.

    Mike
     
  13. Crosshair

    Crosshair Member

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    Story time: 11 ton truck vs 2 ton cop car.

    Last beet season my Uncle and his brother are harvesting beets. We all have seen the large trucks they use. Anyway, it is 1AM on a clear night. One of the drivers is driving on of their trucks to the beet plant. The truck is about 5 tons and has about 6 tons of beets in it. The beet plant is on the other side of the river in MN and all the bridges go through busy parts of town. The bridge that gets the most traffic is the most northern, (The Kenedy bridge) since it is for US Highway 2, it has few traffic lights. After you cross the bridge you need to start heading south to get to the plant. During harvest, some rather minor side streets become major trucking lanes because they are the easiest and safest way to get to the plant. Anyway, the trucker has a green light across DeMers (A major street), and a cop has the red light. There is a call about a bar fight to the PD and one of the cops is going all out to get there. He is going about 50 MPH pulling the "turning on you're lights only to get across" and it is nearly a blind corner for the trucker. The cop T-Bones the truck box and just aft of the fuel tanks. The truck is fliped over into the parking lot across the street, spilling 6 tons of beets. The total repairs to the truck was getting flipped back up, a new window, passenger mirror, and a little paint. The cop car was totaled and looked like a ball of scrap. Had the cop been going a little faster, the truck driver would have felt a little bump as he went over him and we would have been reading about a dead cop and have to scrape the car off the pavement.
     
  14. hifi

    hifi member

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    They're all being trained and have the mentality of knight in shining armor, gung-ho doorkickers these days, what do you expect.
     
  15. CARRY'IN

    CARRY'IN member

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    Hi. My only comment concerns "vehicular assaults." I dont feel quite right about cops blasting unarmed people in cars. Of course I understand the idea is that a car is a deadly weapon. I actually saw it on some cop reality show a couple years ago; some emotionally disturbed kid was fleeing and the cops blocked the driveway with their cruiser and jumped out. The kid rammed the cruiser (not with much determination if you ask me), backed up and went for another try. The officers stepped half in front of their vehicle and opened fire- killing the kid. They interviewed the officers and one said something to the effect that it was sad but when your life is threatened there is nothing else you can do. Hmmmm. There were a couple people with me watching and they seemed to think it was all on the up and up. Call me a bleeding heart but I did not.
     
  16. FeebMaster

    FeebMaster Member

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    Cars are pretty handy. Let's just ban cops.
     
  17. jcoiii

    jcoiii Member

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    editted b/c i can't read. my apologies. :uhoh:
     
  18. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    Maybe there are more cars on the road than the previous two decades? I dunno, just a guess.
     
  19. MikeB

    MikeB Member

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    Yeah I noticed the same thing, but didn't have a chance to post about it as I had to go out.

    I suppose that could be a different category than your typical Traffic Accident, as I'm not a LEO I didn't want to comment on it.

    How dare you bring logic into a discussion. :)

    I've heard that a very small minority of officers ever draw their firearm in the course of a career. I suppose that depends on the jurisdiction and assignment, also there is the issue of more modern policing with "Felony Stops" and what not.
     
  20. Technosavant

    Technosavant Member

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    The safest weapon to use to kill someone is an automobile. Much less prison time.

    The article also stated that criminals are trying to run down officers. I wonder if we will begin to require NICS checks and waiting periods on personal transportation products.
     
  21. ksnecktieman

    ksnecktieman Member

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    We have the technology, we can eliminate the need for the "high speed chase". All we have to do is mandate that all cars have a version of "North Star" and then the officer can shut down the car that is trying to evade him via satellite. If they can unlock it, and you have a remote starter, they can shut it down.

    Securing chin strap on tinfoil hat now that I have my nomex suit on. Technology is grand, but I preferred freedom.
     
  22. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    ksnecktieman, how about the coupla hundred million cars without Northstar? :)

    Seems to me that citizens should point out to their elected officials that buying new cars to replace wrecked ones, and paying the costs of a line-of-duty deaths, is a helluva lot more costly than providing some serious training in driving at high speeds.

    Same for those jurisdictions that get the paint job and the light bar and siren, but the suspension is about like an old-days Buick.

    Art
     
  23. Drizzt

    Drizzt Member

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    ain't just in the States...

    Speeding policeman spared car ban

    Police patrols have been stepped up since the bomb attacks
    A firearms officer caught speeding at 100mph has been spared a driving ban so as not to add to the burden on London's over-stretched police force.

    Jamie Smith, 30, admitted going 30mph over the limit on the A11 at Snetterton in Norfolk on 22 January.

    The Metropolitan Police officer, from West Horndon in Essex, was fined £600 and had five points put on his licence.

    Magistrates decided not to impose a ban after hearing driving was a vital part of his counter terrorism unit job.

    Andrew Lyons, mitigating, told Thetford Magistrates' Court in Norfolk: "Driving is essential for his duties, especially at this time when mobility is of the essence.

    "The disqualification would have the effect at this time of putting extra pressure on the resources that are already at their limit."

    Top Met officers have admitted that the force is being so stretched by the demands of inquiries into the 7 July bombings and 21 July attempted bombings, that work on other crimes has "slowed to a trickle".

    Major murder inquiries have been affected, including the case of Amelie Delagrange, the French 22-year-old who was bludgeoned to death on Twickenham Green last August.

    More than 1,000 officers are working on the bombs inquiries and more are being used on patrols, costing an estimated £500,000 a day.

    As well as the fine and the points, Smith was ordered to pay £35 court costs.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/4135334.stm
     
  24. hifi

    hifi member

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    Liberty always beats safety, don't it? ;)
     
  25. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    I dunno. If a person is trying to ram me with a 3,000 lb vehicle, I will most certainly shoot them. Your case, however, seems like the cops weren't the target? Dunno. As always, the facts of the case in question will determine the propriety of the shoot.

    Mike
     
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