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July 15, 1992

High-Speed Chases to High-Powered Squirters, Moving Traffic Violations Pose Variety of Threats

JAMA. 1992;268(3):307. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490030017008

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HIGH-SPEED PURSUIT of a smuggler last month by Immigration and Naturalization Service border patrol officers led to the death of six Californians hit by the vehicle being chased.

'Hot Pursuit'  Such "hot pursuit," says the Washington, DC—based Automobile Association of America Foundation for Traffic Safety, occurs an estimated 50 000 times and results in more than 300 deaths and some 20000 injuries annually in this country. The foundation bases these estimates on data from a study by Illinois State University (Normal) researchers who, like investigators in South Carolina and Florida, note that comparatively minor suspected offenses often are involved.Besides more clear-cut policies on when officers may undertake pursuit, Illinois researchers Michael T. Charles, PhD, David N. Falcone, PhD, and Edward Wells, PhD, recommend additional training in emergency vehicle handling and careful monitoring of this aspect of police work.They also suggest use of video and still cameras by police