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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Why can't police use PIT moves to stop motorcycles?

My understanding is that in the US, if you flee a traffic stop, the police can use the precision immobilization technique (PIT) to stop your vehicle. But if someone flees on a motorcycle, the police simply let the rider go.

Andy Anderson, not a lawyer.
A PIT maneuver is a (relatively) controlled collision. It is still risky, and only done if other options are excluded (spike strip deployment, low-speed pursuit, even just letting the suspect go to reduce risks).

If you collide a Crown Victoria with a motorcycle, the most likely result is a complete loss of control by the driver, probable ejection from the seat, and/or scraping along the ground. More bluntly, the driver is probably going to get severely injured or killed.

That's not an acceptable risk, in the eyes of a sensible cop.

Additionally, there's the issue of getting up next to the bike to perform the maneuver. Motorcycles generally have much better power-to-weight ratios than cars, even higher-powered cars like an Interceptor-model Crown Vic, or one of the Chargers getting used more recently.

The bike will probably just smoke the officer trying to pull them over. At that point, you have a high-speed pursuit on your hands, which most PDs will call off immediately as an unacceptable risk.