Wednesday, March 22, 2006

High Speed Chase

There are only a couple of reasons that I will sit down to watch Fox News (GASP).  First, is after a major political story breaks, I tend to watch to see what the right is saying about it.  Second, if there’s a car chase in southern California.  That’s right, I’m one of those people.  When I worked on the hill, staffers would alert e-mail lists of car chases so that those of us who didn’t have our office sets tuned to Fox, could join in on the fun.

Tonight was one of those times when my television was taking in the action on the freeways of LA.  For 45 minutes, I watched an SUV weave back and forth through heavy traffic, ducking into McDonald’s parking lots and swerving around parked cars.  This is “good” tv.  I say good in quotes, because while it’s not the type of highbrow (Daily Show, Family Guy, Scrubs) television that I normally watch, it is something I just can’t turn off.  

This made me think about just how smart car chases actually are. This guy was accused of grand theft auto and to be fair that’s all I knew, he could very well have also murdered 30 people before he stole the car.  But is it worth it, the risk to the public both driving alongside and walking on the streets to have these high speed chases?  I know that police departments are constantly reviewing and questioning their practices in order to answer this question, but it seems to me that unless someone has committed a violent crime, there is absolutely no reason to conduct a high-speed chase.  

Except of course, if there’s nothing better on tv.

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