Friday, September 21, 2007

Car Chase Stopper: A Response

I notified Car Chase Stopper that I had critiqued their product in a previous blog and they wished to write a response. If you have not read my original post from yesterday, either scroll down or click HERE. I will post their response in color below.

First, thank you for reviewing our site and for sharing your impressions. We appreciate this great opportunity to get our ideas out in a public forum. has been a great source of information and inspiration for us and we have the utmost respect for the work you are doing.

We at JCCS Inc do not consider the Car Chase StopperTM to be a panacea that will forever solve all the problems of police pursuits. We do, however, feel it is a far, far better alternative than existing methods still being used today that too often result in carnage and destruction from those pursuits that go horribly wrong.

Foremost among these methods is the PIT Maneuver, the tool still being used by most law enforcement agencies and still being taught to new officers. As you know too well it is inherently dangerous and is the leading cause of deaths, injuries, property damage and law suits from police pursuits. The PIT Maneuver (Precision Immobilization Technique), is described as a technique by which one car pursuing another can force the pursued vehicle to abruptly turn sideways to the direction of travel, causing the driver to lose control and stop.

This loss of control is what is most responsible for the serious accidents involved in police pursuits.

Alternately, the use of various kinds of spike strips to deflate the tires of a suspect vehicle is only effective when the spike strips can be deployed in front of that vehicle’s tires – not all that often possible. And even when successfully used there is still a risk of an out of control vehicle crashing into whatever is in the way.

Today many police organizations are rightfully backing away from dangerous pursuits because of the risks involved. However there are still times for whatever reason the police feel they must attempt to apprehend a fleeing suspect. As long as this remains the case we strongly believe Car Chase Stopper will be a much safer alternative.

As for the safety and effectiveness of the Car Chase Stopper, we need to point out:

· our video is of the first test of a prototype

· this first test proved the concept works; the device is not yet perfected

· we are seeking partners capable of helping us move forward from here

· our plan is for repeated video-documented professional testing of improved designs

· successful testing will lead to field tests, and from there…

Now, let me address what you saw and commented on. You are certainly correct in saying that the video does not prove it safe. It isn’t designed to.

First, it requires the police to be VERY close to the vehicle it is pursuing. Of course, this is very dangerous.”

For the prototype test shown both vehicles were at 40 mph. The “capture cable” had an effective range of around 20 feet between the vehicles. The cable used was stainless steel. One new design potential is for a brand new much lighter and far stronger fiber cable that could appreciably extend the effective distance between the vehicles. This cable is now being tested in the form of a net to capture missiles and to entangle large marine vessel propellers.

As for the degree of danger involved, is it more or less dangerous to set loose an out-of-control suspect vehicle that no one knows where and how it will end up than to “lasso” that vehicle and control where and how it ends up?

“If you will notice, once the fleeing car is caught by the device it fishtails to the right... Hmm.”

Again you are correct. The suspect vehicle appeared to fishtail to the right because the cable engaged only the right rear wheel and axle and not the left. Additionally the steel cable, as it wrapped around the axle, caused the right side emergency brake to engage thus causing the rear of the vehicle to swerve to the left – giving the appearance of the front fishtailing to the right. With both wheels and axles snared all action would be forward until the stop. In most cases the police vehicle is easily able to be directly behind the suspect vehicle.

And did you notice how quickly the chase was over, and that the police vehicle did not come close to the pursued vehicle?

A couple of the reasons Car Chase stopper will be more effective and less dangerous than today’s alternatives:

· Car Chase Stopper captures and stops the fleeing vehicle – far less danger of going out of control

· no need to be in front of a fleeing vehicle to deploy spike strips

We readily acknowledge Car Chase Stopper isn’t finished yet. Our hope is by publishing our web site now we can get the word out and attract the help we need to get the necessary work done. All who have an interest can follow the progress as we move forward. We’re hoping all will reserve final judgment and follow our journey with us.

It is important to note that this type of discussion is what will solve the problem of police pursuits. Rather it be with a new technology or safer policies, a true discourse without the mudslinging that tends to go along with this subject is truly what the doctor ordered.


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