The number of deaths caused by high-speed police chases reached its highest level since 2007 last year.
In 2014, 385 people died in car crashes that occurred while police were pursuing another vehicle, a USA Today review of federal records shows. That’s a 16% increase from the 333 people killed in 2013.
About 73 percent of those killed in 2014 were bystanders. 77 were passengers in the fleeing vehicle, and 12 were children under the age of 14, including one infant. “A huge percentage of these deaths are unnecessary,” Jonathan Farris, the former chairman of PursuitSAFETY, told the paper.
The increase may be the result of more accurate reporting from police departments. “There’s been much more pressure on agencies to track these things better,” Maj. Travis Yates of the Tulsa, Okla., told USA Today. “Departments are forced into being more transparent in 2015, which is a good thing.”