A annual report by the Pennsylvania State Police shows a 12.9 percent decrease in police pursuits in 2009 from 2008. In 2008, the state reported 1,816 vehicle pursuits, 9 of which resulted in fatality. Last year, 1,582 pursuits were recorded, with 8 deaths. All 8 of those killed were fleeing from police.
According to the report, 532 of the 2009 police pursuits resulted in crashes, with 185 of them involving injuries. In 2008, 606 pursuits ended with an accident, and 212 of them involved injuries.
Press Secretary Jack Lewis says the number of police pursuits has been gradually declining in recent years. However, he says this has been the most significant decrease.
Lewis says this could be a result of less people taking that risk of fleeing from police, or police using less aggressive tactics when pursuing a vehicle. He says about 57% of all apprehensions of people in fleeing vehicles were accomplished using whats called a trailing pursuit, which is when the officer tries to follow the vehicle in attempt to pull it over rather than going ahead of it and trying to cut it off. "So since trailing pursuits are the least aggressive type of pursuit we're hopeful that departments are using those in attempt to cut down on the number of injuries and death."
The complete 2009 Pennsylvania Police Pursuit Report can be found on their website.