Police Grappler Bumper could be the least sketchy way to end a police chase.
Stopping a driver who doesn’t want to be stopped isn’t exactly easy. There are various techniques that law enforcement agencies use, but they’re all a bit… sketchy.
Tire-deflating stop sticks, for instance, which make a car extremely hard to control. And/or turn its wheels into an angle grinder. Or there’s the PIT maneuver, which at best sends a car spinning out of control or, at worst, causes a gigantic, firey wreck.
But an inventor has come with a device that could be a much safer, more controlled way of bringing a fleeing car to a halt: the Police Grappler Bumper.
The PGB is a Y-shaped yoke attached to the front bumper of the pursuit vehicle, that carries tow rope-like webbing. The yoke flips down as the pursuit vehicle gets close enough for the webbing to snag the rear wheel of the suspect vehicle. With the webbing entangled, the wheel locks, the pursuit vehicle slams on its brakes and effectively drags the suspect vehicle to a halt.
No doubt it all feels absolutely terrifying from inside the vehicles, but it is about as controlled a stop as could ever be achieved. The same of the version that detaches the webbing, but nothing’s perfect.
The inventor of the device, Leonard Stock told Fox News that idea came to him after he had been watching a load of police chases. “The conclusion of one of the chases was an innocent motorist getting t-boned and I went to sleep that night just so aggravated that this was happening. And I woke up at 3:00 in the morning just suddenly and this was the first thought I had.”
Around 40 percent of police chases in the United States end with a crash.
Stock claims the PGB has been thoroughly tested on a number of different vehicles. He doesn’t appear to have sold any, but is keen to do live demonstrations for interested agencies.
In the meantime, the most effective way of bringing a speeding car to a halt is the TPAC maneuver employed by the British police. Which is a logistical nightmare.