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Georgia lawmakers aim to limit dangerous police pursuits

High-speed police chases may be exciting to watch on the local news from the comfort of your living room. However, for motorists who are on the roads along the route where the chase is taking place, there can be serious and -- too often -- deadly consequences.

A bill now in the Georgia Senate would limit all police chases throughout the state to situations where officers believe the suspect had committed or was currently committing a serious crime -- for example, murder, kidnapping or armed robbery.

Senate Bill 63 follows at least two high-profile fatal crashes in the state in recent years. Last November, three people were killed when a South Fulton police officer struck the van they were in as he pursued a driver suspected of stealing a car. Since that deadly crash, police in that city are no longer allowed to chase suspected car thieves.

Another family is suing the Atlanta and College Park police departments for a crash three years ago that killed a grandmother and two young children. According to the suit, officers who engaged in a high-speed chance through a neighborhood were violating their own pursuit policies.

When police vehicles are traveling at speeds far exceeding the posted limits and crash into other vehicles, the resulting injuries can be catastrophic. Of course, suspects who are being pursued and attempting to avoid arrest and incarceration may violate multiple traffic laws and have no regard for anyone's safety -- including their own. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a crash arising from a police pursuit, it's wise to determine what your legal options for seeking the compensation you need and deserve.

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