For three years: 2001, 2002 and 2003, California has been the only state with more than 50 people killed in pursuit crashes each year.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports on fatalities due to violent pursuit crashes, click here.
2003 NHTSA report by state, click here.
2002 NHTSA report by state, click here.
1992 - 2001 NHTSA reports, click here.
California Laws Governing
Police Vehicular Pursuit
California law grants blanket immunity to public entities even if officers fail to follow the pursuit policy their law enforcement agency has actually adopted.
No accountability for following pursuit policy on
the state level.
In 1987 the California legislature passed a law that awarded Blanket Immunity to all Law Enforcement agencies that simply adopted a pursuit policy that met rudimentary standards. In a shocking lack of judgment they neglected to require the agency to follow that policy. Read more about California's Vehicle Code Section 17000-17004.7.
This California vehicle code only mandates that a law enforcement agency adopt a pursuit policy. A new law -- signed in 2005 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- only asks officers to read the policy. There is still no accountability. Read more about this do-nothing legislation that does very little to protect the innocent.
If a California officer's car crashes into an innocent third party during a chase or the officer's law enforcement agency has not adopted a pursuit policy, the public entity that employs the officer may be held liable.
Appears to be very little, click here.
These penalties are for fleeing only.
The penalty is discretionary and most often a misdemeanor that is bargained down to nothing, with the fleeing suspect serving very little or no jail time. To see penalties under the new law signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, click here.
Now, if someone gets killed, the suspect may be charged with second degree murder, but not always, thanks to California's Supreme Court. Read more about California's Supreme Court and its shameful ruling, click here.
for Fleeing Juveniles
Research in progress. The teenager who fled from the police and killed Kristie Priano received one (1) year in juvenile home and remained in a monitored group home until she turned 18.
Pending California Legislation
on Police Pursuits
Senate Bill 126
Senate Bill 718 -- Kristie's Law held by author