Radio Report: Unified bipartisan vehicular pursuit bill emerges in Olympia


In Olympia, bipartisan legislation has been introduced that would restore the ability of law enforcement to engage in vehicle pursuits of suspects. John Sattgast reports from the state Capitol.

 Radio Report Transcript

SATTGAST: In 2021, lawmakers passed a bill that limited vehicle pursuits in which there is probable cause to believe a violent or sexual crime was committed. After those new restrictions were enacted, there was an increase in motorists simply driving away from traffic stops. And car thefts jumped.

Sumner Republican Representative Eric Robertson has joined with Democratic Representative Alicia Rule to introduce bipartisan legislation to fix the problem.

ROBERTSON: “The biggest component is it changes the standard for a pursuit from the unreasonable, and nearly unachievable, level of probable cause to reasonable suspicion. And allow law enforcement officers across the state of Washington, if their department policies allow for it, to pursue suspected criminals.”

SATTGAST: Robertson is a retired Washington State Patrol trooper. He says House Bill 1363 would ensure criminals do not have a free pass, and would allow police agencies to set their own pursuit policies.

John Sattgast, the state Capitol

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