A new security feature offered on some General Motors vehicles prevented what may have become an incredibly dangerous high speed pursuit. When a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe was carjacked at gunpoint in Visalia a few weeks ago, the owner of the vehicle notified OnStar. OnStar, the GM subsidiary that offers security and other in-car services, was able to locate the stolen vehicle using it’s global positioning system and safely disable the vehicle before the pursuit could escalate.
As police approached the stolen vehicle, the suspect sped off, initiating what could have been a high speed chase. High speed chases rarely end peacefully, and knowing that the vehicle was taken at gunpoint added much more danger to the situation. Fortunately, the 2009 Tahoe was equipped with OnStar’s new vehicle disabling service. The disabling service sent the stolen vehicle a command that disabled the gas pedal electronically. The pursuing police officers were able to watch the disabled Tahoe slowly roll to a stop, and the suspect was soon apprehended.
The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker has handled many cases in which our clients were involved in the aftermath of a high speed police pursuit. Anything that prevents high speed pursuits before they happen is a welcome development. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2008, 334 people were killed in police pursuits, including 5 police officers and 77 innocent victims. We can only hope that these numbers become smaller as more and more vehicles on the road come equipped with these types of safety enhancements.
OnStar® is a registered trademark of OnStar, LLC.