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EMP Guns to Stop Motorcycle Pursuits?
Recently, I have watched several videos showing a lot of police forces involved in motorcycle pursuits. It struck me to try and fathom the costs of such actions, and I started thinking about methods the police could use to prevent these chases from becoming that long.

EMP Guns to Stop Motorcycle Pursuits?

Unlike when it comes to cars, spike strips, shooting the tires, ramming, and other similar maneuvers can put an early end to a pursuit. However in the case of motorcycles, these methods put the rider and passenger (if any) in a much greater risk.

Some might add that the rider fleeing from the police, slaloming in and out of traffic at high speed has already put himself or herself in a lot of danger. Surely, this is true, but this doesn't mean that the rider must be rammed into by a police cruiser and blown to smithereens.

Some of the guys who are involved in the chases are nothing but scared teenagers, most of them entering a state of shock when they realize that several police cars are after them, possibly a helicopter and all. Just like scared wild animals, they start reacting on instincts... and these instincts are not always the right ones, I mean, slowing down and avoiding making their situation even worse.

On the other hand, others are criminals, some of them riding stolen bikes, using the motorcycle as a getaway vehicle after committing various crimes, such as theft, drug or gun smuggling, and even worse.

While it's, of course, imperative that these fellows be apprehended and brought to justice, the very fact that they are on the bike makes things a lot more difficult.

The cops can't and won't shoot towards them, as the chances of collateral victims are huge. Again, ramming them down is a maneuver rarely used, and only at fairly low speed, because it can injure the rider very seriously, mutilation or death also being impossible to rule out.The chase lasts as long as there's still gas in the tank
One of the things both cops and fugitives know is that a chase will last as long as the bike still has gas in the tank. Depending on the situation, this can theoretically lead to a chase that spans for 120 miles (200 km) or so, even though we haven't heard yet of such a thing.

Riders usually make a mistake and crash before running out of gas, or realize that they are losing the game and decide to pull over, at least these seem to be the most common two scenarios.

Even so, when analyzing the costs the state has to cover for such police actions, my question seems to make a lot of sense, especially as pretty much anywhere in the world police complains of under-financing.

Finding a way to put an early end to motorcycle chases will not solve all of the problems, obviously, but when it comes to saving money, every penny counts. Just imagine how different is deploying 2 or 3 police cars or bikes for a chase that lasts for several miles instead of having a dozen cruisers or more on the highway, plus the eye in the sky!

It has been more than once when we saw such pursuits resulting in property damage, including both police and innocent vehicles, and someone has to pay for everything. It doesn't take a finance genius to figure out that preventing the damage and expenses is much easier than "fighting" insurance groups or trying to get money from the fellow who caused all this... and being unable to, because he simply doesn't and will never have it.

It is, in a way, frustrating to see that we don't have or don't use efficient technologies that can stop a motorcycle relatively safely. Shooting special-design nets at the rider or the bike's wheels seems so far one of the methods which could be used on a larger scale.

They are safe enough up to a certain speed because they don't act so brutally. As the nets gets tangled in the wheels, it impedes their movement reducing the speed and even stopping the bike. Still using it against a bike traveling at high speed is risky, especially in case the net gets tangled so much that it exerts a very strong braking force. Equivalent to a violent brake, this can destabilize the motorcycle and cause a crash, defeating the purpose of the whole action.EMP guns could do
Older ideas had EMP (electromagnetic pulse) guns damaging the electronics inside the bike and causing its engine to stop. Half reality and half fantasy, EMP gun prototypes have been around for years, but somehow, they didn't take off as some expected.

Bulky and therefore with little usability, EMP generators can be miniaturized to a scale that makes them easier to install in police cars, bikes, or even used as handheld guns.

Such devices should be tested thoroughly for hit accuracy and to see how a speeding bike reacts when an electromagnetic pulse shuts down the microchips in it. It's possible that the sudden stall of the engine to be really dangerous at his speed. However, in a crowded urban environment, a fleeing rider could be stopped before his getaway vehicle builds up too much speed.

Using an EMP gun, first-response police officers can even stop what could transform in a long, expensive pursuit right before it actually started. As for the possibility that other vehicles get damaged by the pulse, I am sure that the costs for replacing a car's ECU are nothing compared to the money the state spends for having 10 or more cruisers, a heli, and a lot of other ground forces in action. Plus, nobody else is put in danger as is the case in lengthy chases.

A solution can be found, and I am waiting the day when it will be widely and safely implemented.

 
 
 
 
 

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