Use of spike belts carefully considered, policing expert says
Public safety is primary concern
The province's special investigations unit continues to probe a fatal collision that happened during a police pursuit on Highway 69 on Sunday.
The SIU said OPP officers deployed a spike belt in an attempt to stop a fleeing vehicle near Parry Sound.
A 38-year-old Ottawa woman was killed when her car struck two OPP cruisers.
Gary Spooner, a teacher in the Police Foundations program at Cambrian College, said police decisions around pursuits — and deploying spike belts — are carefully considered.
"With the training for police pursuits comes — the very first thing and the thing that is most paramount — public safety," Spooner said. "That is the primary consideration. And public safety includes the person who is in the vehicle you are pursuing, as well as the police officers."
The weekend crash is the second fatal collision involving a spike belt in the northeast in the past few years.
In 2009 a spike belt was deployed to end a pursuit on Highway 17 near Sturgeon Falls. In that case, the driver lost control and struck another vehicle. The drivers in both cars were killed.
The SIU did not find any wrong-doing on the part of police in that case.