Yesterday many of us in the Northeast Kingdom town of Charleston
were subjected to the spectacle of a white SUV that was “driven without authorization” leading several police agencies on a high speed chase through our neighborhood. During this chase, the SUV and the police vehicles came close to hitting 3 of my neighbors 2 of whom were on foot. Thankfully neither i nor my wife – we are both somewhat slow moving were not on the road. Our neighbors dove into the ditch to avoid the train of cars that apparently topped out at over 90 miles per hour on a road that features soft areas, washboards and sharp turns. It was lucky that the road had been recently graded. If it had not been the results might have been far worse. As it was i found car parts on the road and ruts where cars had gone off the road in this pursuit.
It is something of a miracle that no one was hurt in this display of adrenaline and testosterone. Police statements pat themselves on the back for their “professionalism” and “cooperation” but those of us who live on the roads where they chased down the car that was “used without permission” are still not happy.Even if the car had been straight out stolen, there is no car that is worth the lives of an innocent bystander or god forbid a child who might have been hit by the fleeing car or chasing police. The drivers that led the police on this chase are well known to police and they have few resources. They would have shown up sooner or later. Apparently they were driving the same car a few days before the chase so i would assume that this was not an immediate danger.
Many jurisdictions have created policy that forbids high speed chases of people who are not an immanent threat to others. This is the second similar chase that has gone through Charleston in the last 2 years endangering the life and limb of anyone unfortunate enough to be on the roads at the wrong time. The last chase featured a drunk driver who ran his car off the road while being pursued by police. The car rolled and burnt after the crash. Luckily that time no one was killed. If this continues someones luck will run out and a bystander will be a casualty
It’s time for Vermont to make policy limiting this madness. Your
life, the life of your family and friends may be at stake. I urge people to contact their state representatives to begin policy making on this issue.
Speed kills. It does not matter who is driving.