What you need to know about police pursuits - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

What you need to know about police pursuits

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July 14, 2003

Albany- It only takes a second for someone to see the lights, hear the sirens, and take off. State troopers say police chases may not be that common in South Georgia, but they do happen.

Knowing what to do if you're caught in the middle is the key.

"If it's safe for them to do so, they should move over to the right lane, and, therefore off to the shoulder of the roadway if they can. A lot of times on a bridge or a busy intersection it's real hard for them to do. If they can't move out of the way to the right, the best thing to do is to just stay still," says Trooper Scott McClure.

McClure says most people who think they can out-drive police are not hardened criminals, but are scared or just don't want a ticket, but a trooper's first priority is the safety of the general public.

"If we feel that this chase is endangering the public by a school zone, a residential neighborhood, or just a lot of people out, or we just feel it's unsafe we will terminate the chase," adds McClure.

If a chase isn't called off, and your car is hit by the speeding driver - he isn't held responsible.

"So, if I rob a bank and I'm fleeing from the policeman and I run into somebody trying to get away, I'm committing a crime. So, if they were insured the insurance company is going to deny liability on that," explains insurance agent, Lonnie Mathis.

Leaving you with a deductible to pay if you want your car fixed. So, your best bet is to get out of the way of any police pursuit. Otherwise, make sure your insurance coverage is up-to-date.

McClure says troopers at his post respond to several chases each month. Most end quickly with a minimum of accidents or injuries.

Posted at 5:50 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com