Rider dies in high-speed police chase

An American rider has died after South Carolina police repeatedly rammed his motorcycle during a high-speed chase.

Robert Lee Clark, 30, died at the scene after he was nudged into a car.

Warning: The following 5:34 minute police dashcam video of the entire pursuit can be very distressing.

The incident again shines a light on the danger of high-speed police chases, especially aggressive, physical contact with a motorcycle as in this case.

Police chases are restricted in most Australian states, but they are still quite common throughout the USA.

In this latest case, Summerville Police Department Deputy James Vansant chased the rider after he was riding at 66mph (106km/h) in a 45mph (72km/h) zone.

The Deputy says the chase reached speeds of 111mph (178km/h).

They also say Robert braked heavily and then missed a gear, causing the contact that sent him into a car that was slowing at the sound of the approaching police siren.

There is no word on whether the rider was wanted for any other issues, except speeding.

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Highway Patrol are conducting an internal investigation. The deputy has been placed on administrative leave, pending the review.

In these days of number (license) plate identification technology, couldn’t police simply check the identity of the motorist and fine them later?

Would the rider have continued to speed and cause danger to other road users? Quite possibly. But would he have ridden at about 70% higher speeds had he not been pursued by police? Possibly not.

If number plate recognition identifies the rider/driver as being wanted for serious offences, then a pursuit may be necessary.

But causing danger to the public with a high-speed chase to stop a speeder is not only highly dangerous but contradictory.

From 1990 to 2010 more than 150 people were killed in high-speed police chases in Australia. However, the toll has since reduced with restrictions placed on police chases and the introduction of sophisticated number plate identification technology.

In America, one person a day is killed in high-speed police chases.

  • Should high-speed pursuits be banned? Have your say in the comments section below.