U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

California Law Enforcement Vehicle Pursuit Guidelines 2006

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2007
56 pages
This report presents updated guidelines and training for law enforcement’s handling of vehicle pursuits established by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and required under Penal Code 13519.8.
The California State Legislature has found and declared that thousands of crime suspects flee each year, often resulting in law enforcement officers in engaging in motor vehicle pursuits. Many pursuits result in accidents, property damage, serious injuries, and death to innocent third parties, peace officers, and fleeing suspects. Updated guidelines were established in 2006 (original guidelines were published in 1995) by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) which are important for law enforcement executives to consider when addressing the broad range of issues that are related to vehicle pursuits. The guidelines are intended to provide a resource for each executive to use in the creation of a specific policy the agency will adopt that reflects the needs of the agency, the community it serves, and contemporary law. The law also requires the Commission to prepare training on law enforcement’s handling of vehicle pursuits. This report contains both updated guidelines and training specifications surrounding vehicle pursuits. The guidelines describe each area an agency’s pursuit policy must address and include: (1) when to initiate a pursuit; (2) number of involved law enforcement units permitted; (3) responsibilities of primary and secondary law enforcement units; (4) driving tactics; (5) air support; (6) communications; (7) capture of suspects; (8) continuation of termination of pursuit; (9) supervisory responsibilities; (10) pursuit intervention; (11) speed of pursuit; (12) interjurisdictional considerations; (13) conditions of the vehicle, driver, roadway, weather, and traffic; (14) hazards to uninvolved bystanders or motorists; and (15) reporting and post-pursuit analysis. The report also provides additional resources on POST Administrative Manual Regulation 1081, penal code, vehicle code, United States code, government code, Constitution of the United States, statistical information, and reference material. Appendix A-B