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High-Speed Chases Becoming More of a Problem

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CARY — Sometimes, just by doing their jobs, police canendanger themselves and put innocent bystanders at risk. But often, as inthe case of a high-speed chase, their only alternative would be to let asuspect escape. There are tough choices to be made when such a situationarises.

In the Triangle, high-speed chases are becoming more of a problem. Inthe last two weeks in Cary alone there have been at least four suchchases. That has legislators taking a look at penalties for those who tryto escape when police are in pursuit.

Earlier this week, a man driving a stolen Lexus took police on a chasethrough Raleigh and Cary, forcing other vehicles off the road and causingseveral accidents. Currently, eluding police is only a misdemeanorfor which the penalty is a fine and a revoked license.

Under a new proposal, it would become a class-A felony if the driver isgoing 15 mph above the posted speed limit or 80 mph. State RepresentativeLeo Daughtry, North Carolina majority leader, co-sponsored the bill. Hesays such a change would send a strong message.

Major Ralph Price of the N.C. Highway Patrol says he supports anythingthat can be done to improve the situation.

Sub-committees in both N.C. houses were scheduled to debate the issueThursday, but ran out of time. They will try again Tuesday.

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