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With lives at stake, Colorado Troopers call off chase with 150 mph Mustang

Ford Mustangs have been fast since the original V8-equipped 1964 debut versions. The current 2018 Ford Mustangs have more power than previous year counterparts. The upcoming 2019 Mustangs carry the tradition forward, adding Shelby GT 500 and Bullitt Mustang versions. It wasn’t a newer Shelby or Bullitt speeding outside Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on Friday, March 30, however.

Colorado State Patrol Troopers clocked a “dark-colored, older-model Mustang” at 140 mph at 12:30 a.m. Friday morning, The Denver Post reports.

Unable to read the license plate on the car traveling on Interstate 70, the troopers turned on lights and sirens in hot pursuit, State Patrol spokesperson Trooper Gary Cooper told the newspaper. Dangerous curves on I-70 follow the Colorado River in the area.

Car Culture, Inc./Getty Images

Rather than pull over when the chase cars lit up, or even ease back on speed, the Mustang driver accelerated to 150 mph. At that point, when they realized they couldn’t catch the car, the troopers quit the chase in the interest of safety, theirs, the Mustang driver’s, and any other drivers on the highway at the time.

Lots can go wrong when cars travel at such excessive speeds, including brake failure from over-heating and tire blowouts, Cooper said.

“It’s extremely reckless, especially with people who haven’t been trained to drive at those speeds,” Cooper continued. “I’ve seen a deer total a car before.”

The days of high-speed chases all-the-time at-all-costs are long gone in many parts of the country. In 1990, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Communication and Research Utilization published Restrictive Policies for High-Speed Police Pursuits. The document is advisory in nature, with recommendations for state, county, and local government pursuit policy elements including pursuit directives, training, and alternatives.

Jaromír Chalabala / 123RF

The Justice Department’s policy document followed three 1988 U.S. Supreme Court cases in which the justices handed down “two decisions of importance in defining restrictive policies for high-speed pursuits.”

According to the document, prior to the Supreme Court decisions, U.S. police across the country engaged in hundreds of high-speed automobile chases each day with an unacceptable number resulting in serious property damage, injury, and death.

In some U.S. jurisdictions unqualified or “no-matter-what” hot pursuit is restricted to incidents in which a violent felony is involved, according to USLegal.

The Colorado troopers decided last weekend that “no-matter-what” didn’t apply in the case of the 150-mph Mustang.

Ford does little to downplay Mustang performance characteristics. Note the image below of the dashboard of a 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Fastback in which the car doesn’t have a speedometer — instead, the dash has a “Ground Speed” indicator on the right side.
2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Ground Speed indicator

Friday’s speeding shenanigans bring to mind a 2016 incident involving a modified 2011 Ford Mustang in Oklahoma that was clocked at a stomach-churning 208 mph. Chased by traffic cops along a stretch of the Kilpatrick Turnpike in Oklahoma City, the 19-year-old male driver eventually pulled over before being arrested.

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