Police chases are on the rise in the Keystone State leaving deadly results for a small percentage of drivers.
For the second-straight year, there were more police pursuits last year. In 2012, there were 1,522 vehicle pursuits in Pennsylvania, up 4.8 percent from 1,453 pursuits in 2011 and 1,413 chases in 2010, according to numbers released Monday by Pennsylvania State Police.
More than one-third (517) of pursuits ended in crashes -- sometimes with deadly consequences. Fourteen people -- 13 violators and one innocent person -- died as a result of crashes during police chases while another 187 were injured.
“Vehicle pursuits involve a very high degree of risk,” said State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan. “We must constantly balance the risk we present to ourselves, and the public, against our duty to apprehend.”
Police got their guy most of the time as 70 percent of pursuits ended with an arrest. Reasons for fleeing include DUI, a car being stolen and outstanding felonies, according to police.
“The message here is don't run from police -- it’s not worth it," Noonan said.
Noonan said that each police department in the state has its own written pursuit policy including when to call off a chase but that “by law, these policies are confidential.”