Essay on Police Use Precision Immobilization Technique to Stop Road Crime

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1621 Words
Date:  2023-04-24

In recent years, law enforcement agencies continue to use the maneuver precision immobilization technique (PIT). The usage of PIT found significance in terminating a hazardous automobile pursuit situation. The police have ever relied on the PIT to control vehicles in a way that, it removes invader and fleeing vehicles from convoys and motorcades. Therefore, maneuver's PIT is a technique meant to apprehend and prevent road related crimes. It works in a sense that an automobile chasing another one can force the front car to swift sideways along the traveling way, hence making the driver lose control and eventually stop the car (Zhou, Lu, & Peng, 2008). In retrospect, this research paper aims to highlight necessary policy considerations, safety measures, and risks associated with PIT applications.

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Due to the risks automobiles get subjected to yearly, PIT offers a solution in reducing these risks. Mostly, this technology is applied by law enforcement teams as a safer choice to resolve the dangers that arise from vehicle pursuits. As a driving technique, it involves the police emergency car driving safely and quickly to stop a fleeing driver by a slight collision with a fleeing vehicle, after which the vehicle is made to spin and finally come to a stop. Besides, this device is applied when officers seek the rate of motion of a fleeing car to overcome risks that the pursuing exercise may pose to the suspect, passengers, and other motorists (Legerski, 2010). Notably, if things go wrong, the pursuit may cause accidents of unimaginable proportions, which is the reason why law enforcement agents must take precautions before engaging in the process. Nonetheless, the approach requires law enforcement agents to determine the distance of the vehicles involved in the pursuit, speed, driving skills of the suspect, and the condition of the vehicle before employing the PIT technique.

Automobile pursuit is among the dangerous activities that the law enforcement agents undertake. According to Zhou, Lu, & Peng, (2008), a good number of individuals, including innocent road users, police officers, and fleeing suspects, die in the course of vehicle pursuits. However, the benefit of the high-speed chase is that it helps to stop a high-value suspect from continuing to endanger other people's lives and property. Equally, imposing numerous restrictions on the emergency police team on the application of pursuit may expose the innocent public to risks arising from suspects running away from apprehension (Legerski, 2010). As such, these controls result in unnecessary injuries and accidents, which subject the officers to psychological torture as well as leading to negative relations between the public and law enforcement officers.

The application of PIT, also called the precision immobilization in a motor vehicle pursuit, aims at reducing the risks associated with potential accidents that may arise during the chase. Through PIT, the police emergency car intentionally hits a fleeing vehicle at a point, which tosses the fleeing vehicle into a sudden twist and hence leading to a stoppage of a high-speed pursuit. As such, law enforcement agents desire to end chase-related risks swiftly without causing traffic incidents that may endanger the lives of other motorists. The termination of the pursuit is best attained by adopting a policy that could restrain police officers from employing the PIT maneuver tool, which is more effective than older techniques such as box-in, barricading, and tire deflation. However, since this approach involves a forceful stoppage of motor vehicles, it remains unsafe due to accidents caused by pursuit collisions (Legerski, 2010). In this regard, to acquire greater benefits from this approach, a policy should be drawn to make it mandatory that the police officers get adequate training on the application of PIT. In this case, both classroom and driving exercises should be conducted. Through training, the officers will be equipped with essential skills, operational ethics, techniques, and legal considerations to perform PIT maneuver correctly and safely.

Considerations and safety measures followed before applying PIT

According to Kuntz (2006), the officers need to use a visual rate in efforts to match speeds between the police cars and that of the suspect. Equally, the vehicles must be moving in the same direction for the PIT to be performed. It is also necessary to perform defensive maneuvers in a way that ensures turning sharply, and instant braking from the suspect is avoided to reduce the impact. Next on making contact with the fleeing vehicle, the officers' car should be offset in a way that it slightly collides either to the passenger or driver side of the suspect's car. As such, the contact area will be a central part between the rear axle and the rear bumper. At this point, the officer is supposed to turn his car in a quarter turn, which will lead to a breakage of traction of the suspect's car (Kuntz, 2006). Then acceleration is made to ensure the suspect's car starts turning around in efforts to make the car stop. The application of brakes follows to make the vehicles separate to avoid extra damages. Finally, the emergency team accelerates away to allow another group of police to take the suspect to court. These steps are iterative and require split-second decision-making processes, which necessitates the need for highly trained law enforcement officers to undertake the tasks.

However, before pursuits can be performed, the location and state of the roads are considered essential. Commonly, policies encourage hunts to be done on straight roadways since this allows for a longer distance of sight, which is relevant in caring for approaching vehicles and other road users. Hence, the curved roadway limits the view of the road, making it impossible to locate the approaching traffic. For cases involving wet roads, the nature of ways becomes frictionless, which may increase the extent of the slide by the suspect's car, which will result in extra damage. Poorly maintained roads may have improved hazards such as rocks and holes, which make the vehicle rollover-as a result, causing injuries and accidents (Kuntz, 2006). Finally, pursuits of fleeing cars are not permissible in densely populated areas such as school zones, central business districts, and residential places.

Reduction of PIT related risks

The risks arising from PIT application include vehicle damages and injuries to officers, suspects, and pedestrians. It is evident within the law enforcement agencies that the PIT maneuver is a risky activity that renders little significance. Therefore, according to Lewis (2013), the Weapons and Protective Systems Technology Center of Excellence (WPSTC) collaborated with the precision driving unit as well as Michigan State of police (MSP) in efforts to modify vehicles to be used during the application of PIT maneuver. In this process, their primary concern was to increase the stability of the cars by equipping them with the electronic stability management machinery. As such, during testing, the instructors and learners from the MSP's PIT maneuver instructing college ran the motor vehicles at different speeds (Lewis, 2013). After the exercise, the WPSTC collected and recorded the outcomes using a commercial data collection system called the video VBOX, which marked the performance of the cars, which got tested through both data and video.

Additionally, the VBOX USA created a conducive platform for vehicle testing by providing technicians and its GPS-based gear to assist the WPSTC team in collecting data. After the examination, the active safety measures team found that a pursuit involving light vehicles leads to fatal damages to the individuals involved in the exercise (Lewis, 2013). Hence, the next safety measure required that that substantial baseline and stable cars to get involved in PIT. Equally, experts recommended that vehicles get fitted with safety facilities such as airbags to overcome the impact of a collision, which injures the driver of the pursuit car (Kuntz, 2006). Installation of drift-box software, which contains sensors to sense and display steering angles, acceleration position, braking force, and centerline deviation, reduced the risks as well (Lewis, 2013). The centerline deviation enables the driver to drive in a straight path by using external conditions such as road camber, wind susceptibility, and suspension errors in geometry (Kuntz, 2006). As such, the vehicle will not lose control will under suspect PIT pursuit.


Car chasing is a cumbersome activity to the police department unless done with extra care. The difficulty arises from the risks accompanied by it, such as deaths to all parties, including the innocent road users, police officers, and suspects. These accidents, in particular, have led to psychological stress as well as negative relations with the public. Hence, the officers must take steps in mitigating these risks. Therefore, adopting and implementing the PIT application policy, the police get a precise and fast option of stopping a pursuit safely without damages and related injuries. Equally, recommendations on the nature of roads should be applied to limit the suspect's pursuit activity. Also, suspect chasing at very high speeds exposes the suspects, the public, and officers in a deadly escapade. Hence, while the officers are allowed to pursue particular situations, they should be limited to specific circumstances, especially the nature and conditions of roads. Therefore, they should avoid wet, sharp curved, and poorly maintained roads to save the life of all road users. Equally, the conditions of vehicles used in the PIT pursuit should be modified in a way to reduce their vulnerability to accidents. These conditions include increasing vehicle stability, installation of security features in vehicles, and other sensors to reflect the nature of roads and guide drivers along the streets to nullify the error of sliding and losing control.


Kuntz, N. J. (2006). Vehicular pursuits: policy analysis and recommendations for the Missoula Police Department. The University of Montana.Lewis, B. (2013). Studying how to maneuver suspects to a stop. National Institute of Justice.

Zhou, J., Lu, J., & Peng, H. (2008). Vehicle dynamics in response to the maneuver of the precision immobilization technique. American Society of Mechanical Engineers Digital Collection.

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