New Technology Can Help Police End High-Speed Chases

By: Carla Wohl, ABC News
By: Carla Wohl, ABC News

High-speed chases. We've all seen them on TV. There are at least 35- thousand police pursuits each year.

And last year they ended in hundreds of deaths, and thousands of injuries. But now a new device may be able to help police stop those fleeing vehicles dead in their tracks.

They are dangerous and too often deadly.

Last year in the United States more than 400 people were killed in police pursuits. The victims often innocent bystanders.

Now new technology may cut down on the number of pursuits and give police the upper hand.

General Motors is updating it's ONSTAR global tracking system so that if a car is reported stolen operators can actually take control away from the driver, forcing the car to slow down, then stop.

The driver may even get a warning.

There are other devices too--a microphone mounted inside this Mercedes helped police find the car thief, but not before he had totaled the car.

In Indiana, sheriff's deputies now have spike strips mounted under their patrol cars that they can release with the touch of a button puncturing a suspects tires.

"The key is to prevent the pursuit from becoming a high speed chase," explained Craig Loper, with Movile Deployment Systems

In Los Angeles police are testing a dart equipped with a tracking device that officers could fire at a suspect's car, allowing them to track it without a high speed chase.

And there's new technology in the works that would make a stolen car impossible to start, which could eliminate some chases before they even begin.


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