Police Spikes

We have all seen the videos of high-speed car chases on our computers or televisions, and some of us even get a slight thrill out of watching one take place. Police enforcement, however, do not find it amusing in the least, as car chases can be dangerous and even deadly to police personnel and civilians. When situations like these do occur, spike strips (a modified version of traffic spikes) are commonly used to bring the fleeing vehicle to a halt. The spikes used by police departments are somewhat different than the ones Coyote offers, which are intended for use in commercial environments. They are designed to work at a high vehicle velocity, causing a controlled release of air from the tires, so that the vehicle is less likely to totally lose control and wreck. They are also built to be portable, as normal surface-mounted or in-ground spikes would be too hard to assemble in the situation of a car chase. These unique road spikes have been used to stop countless high speed chases and are seen as a major asset to police departments around the U.S. There have been concerns however, about the potential dangers to the personnel in charge of operating and deploying these spikes. This is because the spikes are portable, and officers are responsible for standing to the side of the road and throwing the tire poppers in the direct path of the vehicle. This has caused incidents where officers have been extremely and even fatally wounded deploying the road spikes. These dangers have caused cities to evaluate the pros and cons of deploying road spikes and if the potential dangers are worth the risk. Only a few cities, however have actually banned these devices.