Police cars could pull over your car in ‘The Future of Your Commute’

May 24, 2018, 7:54 AM | Updated: 8:45 am

Follow @kslpetersamore...

Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series on the future of driving in Utah.

MURRAY — “Smarter” technology in our cars and on our roads is coming. They’ll talk to each other, hopefully reducing accidents.

So how would law enforcement use smart technology in fighting crime and forcing traffic stops? And what are the legal challenges?

When we hear police sirens right behind us, most of us would pull over to the side of the road.

Of course, others won’t, like the shooting suspects who led Utah Highway Patrol troopers on a dangerous chase on I-15 through Utah County in December.

But what would happen if the squad car were able to talk to our car and avoid a chase by shutting our cars down?

Then, what if the squad cars were to send signals to lock our doors to keep suspects, or even us, inside the car?

UHP Lt. Travis Trotta gave a scenario.

“I have the right to talk to this person. They’re not complying. I’ve met the criteria,” he said. “I can shut that vehicle down and not have any of the injuries that we’re having from somebody else’s decision to run away from us.”

Trotta said that could be the next step of our cars’ smart technology.

“You’ve got GM that’s made OnStar, that’s able to take a car and unlock it by identifying yourself,” he explained. “They can shut a car down if it’s been stolen.”

Then there are drones: remote-controlled aircraft that can fly after criminals.

“It would be nice to have (a drone) stay out there with them at 120 mph, for a sustained amount of time, track it to the location where it’s parked, and watch the suspects get out of the car,” Trotta said.

He hopes that would pose a lesser risk to the safety of troopers.

Trotta says they’re also getting better at identifying people with facial recognition software, fingerprints and other biometrics that our own smartphones use to identify us.

But Trotta also asks, “How do we make sure that the technology doesn’t get abused, or used in the wrong hands” by criminals or by law enforcement?

“The technology would have to be so good that the Legislature and law enforcement determine that public safety interest in stopping vehicles and ending these high-speed chases outweighs the risk that it doesn’t always work perfectly,” Salt Lake defense attorney Greg Skordas said.

Public safety usually outweighs personal privacy concerns, Skordas added, and automakers would understand that.

“I think the Legislature could enact legislation that requires automobile makers to put this technology in cars,” he said.

It would be no different from lawmakers regulating safety inspections and emissions standards. Skordas says some people will detest more encroachment from “big brother.”

“Once this technology is in place, people who purchase vehicles need to be aware,” he said. “People who drive on certain roads where this technology is in place should be made aware.”

And Skordas and Trotta agree law enforcement will still need warrants to search cars once they’re pulled over.

As for the technology to do it, “it’s already old the day it’s released,” Trotta said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


salt lake county jail inmate death...

Becky Bruce

Lawsuit: Death of man in Salt Lake County jail was preventable

The lawsuit claims the death of Leland Cropper, 40, could have been prevented if Salt Lake County officials or jail employees had provided proper medical care.

7 minutes ago

Workers undergo cleanup efforts in Daybreak...

Derrick Jones

Tumbleweed cleanup efforts underway in Daybreak

Cleanup efforts continue in a Daybreak community in South Jordan after an unusual storm blanketed the neighborhood in tumbleweed.

50 minutes ago

The New Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, Miller Family Campus, in Lehi is dedicated at ...

Heather Peterson

One third of Utah hospitals not in compliance with hospital price transparency law

Hospitals have been required to post a list of the prices they charge for services since January 1, 2021.

14 hours ago

Noah Pirkle snowshoes by the Mill B trailhead in Big Cottonwood Canyon on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024....

Carter Williams

Comparing Utah’s snowpack this winter with the rest of the West

Utah's mountains gained 12.9 inches of snow water equivalent, otherwise known as snowpack, between the season start on Dec. 1 to its end on Thursday

15 hours ago


Becky Bruce

South Jordan still cleaning up after tumbleweed take over

The invasive and non-native tumbleweeds blew into South Jordan on Saturday, blocking streets, driveways and even entire homes. 

17 hours ago

A screenshot shows where Shepard Lane in in relation to I-15 in Farmington....

Adam Small

Construction underway for UDOT’s I-15 Shepard Lane Interchange project

FARMINGTON– The Utah Department of Transportation is beginning construction on a project that will turn Shepard Lane into a new I-15 interchange. Mitch Shaw, a UDOT spokesperson, told KSL NewsRadio that the project will bring more than just a freeway entrance. New roads will also be connected to Shepard Lane.  “It’s all…our effort to make […]

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Police cars could pull over your car in ‘The Future of Your Commute’