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Police car chases happen on a regular basis and tend to break many rules of car safety. You can often find videos of such police chases on YouTube or on reruns of Cops. While most don’t last a long time, there is one car chase that lasted so long that the cops actually had to take a break. 

How long do police chases typically last?

On average, police chases usually last only a few minutes, and it isn’t something police do lightly. If they are going to pursue a suspect in a car, there is usually a good reason to do so, as police car chases can be deadly. 

They typically involve cars of some sort, although there are a few unique exceptions, like the chase, which involved a drunk Amish driver who drove away in a horse-drawn buggy. In one notable case, other types of vehicles used in car chases include tractors, buggies, and even Sea Scooters. 

Another unique car chase involved a stolen airport baggage tractor. The man who stole the baggage tractor drove through Hobbs, New Mexico, for about seven minutes before being brought to a halt using stop sticks.

The typical car chases usually involve high speeds, multiple cop cars, and the suspect having to abandon the vehicle. They are often caught on foot.

What all these cases have in common is that most are resolved in minutes. It does happen that a car chase can last for a few hours, although this is rare. A car chase in New Zealand set a new record that will not be easily broken.

How did the New Zealand police chase begin?

According to the Daily Mail, it all started one morning on a southern island in New Zealand. A 20-year-old was spotted speeding in a blue Subaru, and the chase was on. Police tried to pull him over at Nelson, but this failed. 

Ricky James witnessed part of the chase while fueling up for gas in Otago. He told NZ Stuff, “She was pretty fully on . . . It would’ve been going about 180 to 200 clicks. It would’ve been off the clock. James went on to state, “It must’ve been a twin turbo Subaru Legacy. It would’ve had a bit of work done to it to be that quick . . . They [police] had no chance to catch up.”

James estimated that the Subaru driver was going about 180 to 200 clicks. This converts to about 112 to 124 mph. The speed limit for that area was only 30 mph.

The car chase was stopped on three separate occasions for safety reasons but was swift to resume. It ended when the driver was forced to leave his Subaru behind as he fled on foot. An officer with a police dog helped apprehend the suspect around 5 PM.

How long did this car chase last?

This car chase covered approximately 720 kilometers. When you break the mileage into U.S. terms, the chase lasted for 447.3 miles. While it wasn’t across all of New Zealand, it was certainly over half the country. 

In total, the car chase lasted around 16 hours. This includes the three breaks. The suspect is being charged with driving while disqualified and failing to stop for police. There are multiple towns that are expected to seek charges for speeding and passing over double yellow lines.

To think that this car chase lasted 16 hours is astonishing. To show how rare this is, the longest car chase in L.A. lasted a mere six hours in comparison. This was considered a record, but the New Zealand chase tops it by 10 hours.


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