Why Drivers In Washington State Are Free To Speed Away From Cops

Drivers in Washington State are free to speed away from patrol cops without fear of being caught, but it’s a luxury that changes today when a new state law goes into effect. A controversial state law enacted in July 2021 restricted police officers from cashing suspects, which led to nearly 8,000 incidents of drivers fleeing from law enforcement. Effective today, the chasing will resume, when cops in the state once again will have the authority to pull over suspected criminals. This comes after agencies saw a significant increase in fleeing drivers over the past 3 years. Authorities are hopeful that there will be a change in driving behavior for the good. During the 3-year period, 2023 had the highest number of fleeing incidents at a staggering 3,337. These figures are partly due to lawmakers lowering the threshold for police to pursue a suspect from probable cause to reasonable suspicion for limited crimes. These limited crimes included violent offense, sex offense, escape, DUI, vehicular assault, and domestic violence. In March, the state House and Senate passed the initiative to restore the authority to police officers to chase a driver when there’s reasonable suspicion that a person has violated the law.