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Is There a No Chase Law in Missouri for Motorcycles?

The image of a high-speed motorcycle chase might seem like something straight out of an action movie, but in reality, these situations can be incredibly dangerous, not just for the motorcyclist and the pursuing officers but also for the general public. Given these risks, it’s a pertinent question to ask: Is there a “no chase” law in Missouri specifically regarding motorcycles?

To put it simply, Missouri does not have a statewide “no chase” law that applies exclusively to motorcycles. However, this doesn’t mean that law enforcement engages in high-speed pursuits without any restrictions or guidelines.

The decision to chase a motorcyclist, like any other suspect, is governed by the pursuit policies of individual law enforcement agencies, which are expected to balance public safety with the need to apprehend suspects.

The Basics of No Chase Laws

The term “no chase law” typically refers to regulations that restrict or fully prohibit police officers from engaging in vehicle pursuits under certain conditions. These laws are designed to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries resulting from high-speed chases. While some states in the U.S. have enacted specific guidelines or laws governing police pursuits, Missouri’s approach is more generalized and discretionary.

Is There a No Chase Law in Missouri for Motorcycles?

Missouri does not have a specific “no-chase” law that applies exclusively to motorcycles. However, law enforcement agencies across the state have policies that guide officers on the appropriateness of initiating or continuing a pursuit based on the situation’s risk to public safety.

The decision to engage in a chase typically depends on several factors, including the severity of the crime, the danger the suspect poses to the community, and the potential risks of the pursuit itself. For motorcycles, which are smaller, faster, and more agile than other vehicles, these pursuits can become particularly dangerous, not only for the rider but also for the public and the officers involved.

 Local Policies and Practices

In Missouri, local law enforcement agencies have the autonomy to develop their own pursuit policies. These policies usually emphasize assessing the risk versus the benefit of a chase. For instance, many departments might decide against pursuing a motorcycle for a minor violation, recognizing the high risk of serious injury or fatality involved in such pursuits.

Cities like St. Louis and Kansas City have implemented more stringent guidelines to govern vehicle pursuits, requiring officers to consider alternative methods to apprehend suspects, especially when high speeds might lead to deadly consequences.

The Impact of Technology

Advancements in technology have also influenced how police handle pursuits. The use of helicopters, drones, and improved communication systems allows police to track suspects with less need for high-speed chases. Additionally, the implementation of GPS trackers in some cases has provided police with alternative methods to monitor and capture suspects without immediate confrontation.

Legal Considerations and Public Safety

The legal framework in Missouri supports the discretion of police officers in pursuit decisions, which means that the law tends to back the judgment of the officers on the scene. This legal backing, however, comes with the expectation that officers will prioritize public safety and use their training to make decisions that minimize harm to everyone involved.

Public safety remains the paramount concern, and Missouri’s approach reflects a growing recognition of the dangers of high-speed chases. This has led to an increase in training for officers on how to handle pursuits, emphasizing de-escalation techniques and the judicious use of force.

Read More – Does Florida Have a No Chase Law for Motorcycles?


While Missouri lacks a specific state-wide “no chase” law for motorcycles, local law enforcement has the autonomy to craft policies that address the unique challenges and risks associated with motorcycle pursuits.

Through a combination of careful policy formulation and the adoption of advanced tracking technologies, Missouri aims to ensure that the enforcement of law does not come at the expense of public safety.


Q: What should I do if I see a police chase involving a motorcycle?
A: If you encounter a police chase, the best action is to stay clear of the pursuit, slow down, and if possible, pull over to a safe area until the chase passes. Always ensure that you give way to emergency vehicles.

Q: Can a police officer be held liable for injuries caused during a pursuit?
A: Yes, officers and their departments can be held liable if it’s determined that they acted recklessly or negligently during a pursuit. However, proving liability requires demonstrating that the officers did not follow their training or the established pursuit policies.

Q: Are there any alternatives being considered for high-speed pursuits?
A: Yes, many law enforcement agencies are exploring and implementing alternatives such as tagging systems that allow police to attach a GPS tracker to a suspect’s vehicle, enabling them to track the vehicle without a high-speed chase.

Q: How can I find out more about the pursuit policies of my local police department?
A: Most police departments make their pursuit policies available to the public. Contact your local police department’s public affairs or community relations office for specific information regarding their policies.

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