OPP looks into replacing high-speed car chases with laser darts
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, May 19, 2017 3:57PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 19, 2017 7:25PM EDT
TORONTO -- High-speed car chases could soon be a thing of the past for Ontario's provincial police.
The force says it has launched a pilot project that will test the use of laser-aimed darts armed with GPS technology to help track fleeing cars.
OPP Const. Kerry Schmidt says three of their marked front-line patrol vehicles have been equipped with a global positioning projectile-launching system.
When a motorist fails to stop or accelerates away after being stopped, Schmidt says a projectile can be fired at the vehicle where it sticks -- by adhesive and a magnet -- and emits a GPS signal that can be tracked by one of the force's communications centres.
Schmidt says this will allow officers to be constantly updated on the whereabouts of the suspect vehicle and safely move in and make an arrest.
He says the system has been rolled out for the Victoria Day long weekend, which is traditionally one of the busiest on the province's roads.
Schmidt says drivers generally slow down if they believe police aren't chasing them and it's hoped the Satellite Technology Apprehension Response system -- or STAR -- will save lives by reducing the need for high-speed pursuits.