Nationwide, since 1979, police car chases have killed more than 5,000 bystanders and passengers. In Ohio, roughly 400 people were killed in high-speed police chases during the same period. Nearly 30 percent of those were passengers, and 4 percent either pedestrians or bicyclists.
Tens of thousands of more people were injured, as officers continued to pursue drivers at high speeds and in hazardous conditions — often for minor infractions.
New technology enabling police to track fleeing vehicles with in-car computers can help alleviate this deadly problem. Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp was scheduled to announce today that his office has just equipped five squad cars with newly purchased GPS tracking systems.