Here’s how it’s supposed to work.
The police car’s lights come on, you pull over as soon as possible and then you find out why you’ve been stopped. Most of the time that stop ends up with you getting a ticket. From there it’s between you and whatever court the ticket is assigned to adjudicate.
These days people aren’t stopping for police. At least that’s the case in Washington State and might be true in other states, and in cities, where police presence has been curtailed via budget cuts and layoffs.
The Northwest News Network took a quick look at the problem and found from January 1st of 2022 to May 17th, the Washington State Patrol said it had 934 failure-to-yield incidents. Sergeant Darren Wright is one of the agency’s most experienced troopers. He calls the increase dramatic.
“Something’s changed. People are not stopping right now,” Wright said. “It’s happening three to five times a shift on some nights and then a couple times a week on day shift.”
Local police departments in Washington State are seeing more of the same. In Puyallup, Police Chief Mike Zaro said there were 148 instances of non-compliance between July 26 of 2021 and May 18 of 2022.
“I could 1,000,000% say this is completely absolutely emphatically totally unusual,” he told the news network.
Another small town in Washington is Lakewood. Its chief, Mike Zaro said it happens in his city once a day. “A lot of times they’re stolen cars; sometimes we don’t know what the deal is,” Zaro said.
Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs executive director, Steve Strachan says he — and others in law enforcement — blame the passage of a bill last year on police tactics. Among other things, the law is a response to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Aimed at what the legislature calls, racial disproportionality in policing, it — among other things — bars high-speed chases in most cases.
And those cases are very, very limited.
Strachan doesn’t disagree with the need for some statewide rules on high speed chases, but in this case, it went too far. Police can’t chase anyone unless they think the driver is impaired, or if an officer believes the person driving a vehicle has committed a violent crime, or is an escaped felon.
That standard — however — is quite high.
Source link: Insurance Journal — https://bit.ly/3mmgF1h
One for the Books — Washington Police Say Drivers Aren’t Stopping for Them
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