Although glamorized in television shows and movies, high-speed car chases are quite dangerous resulting in numerous deaths and injuries every year—not only to suspects and first responders, but also to innocent bystanders that may be in the path of one of the vehicles. In Austin, Texas, police are using GPS tracking technology from StarChase to apprehend suspects in vehicles more efficiently and with greatly diminished risk of injury.

“Each time that we have used this technology, we have not had any injury to officers or suspects, and we have not had any wrecked vehicles, which saves on liability, litigation costs, repair-of-vehicle costs and [results in] no injuries,” Marcus Davis, a senior officer in the police technology unit for the Austin police department, said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “We’re getting sued from a 2012 case—before we had StarChase—and they’re asking for $1 million for a fatality, so you can see how costly these can get.”

In the 2012 case, an innocent bystander in a car died after his vehicle was “T-boned” by the suspect’s car that was trying to evade law enforcement. Such incidents happen far too often throughout the United States, which is why the StarChase system was developed, according to Trevor Fischbach, president of StarChase.

“This is a major problem that takes a lot of lives every year,” Fischbach said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.  “Not only does it take a lot of lives, it creates a ton of lawsuits and property damage—billions and billions of dollars are being spent on the lousy outcomes of these pursuits.

“The other unspoken statistic is that you have upwards of 50,000 people hurt every year in pursuits, and that’s probably an underestimate.”