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drops down to stop a car chase
  (+8, -2)
(+8, -2)
  [vote for,

This is a device to stop criminal suspects who are trying to evade capture by fleeing in cars. It will work best on city freeways.

The device could be attached to the bottom of any bridge that crosses over the roadway, or to a specially built framework.

The device is activated by remote control from a police car or other civil authority. Hopefully, the device will be activated just before the target vehicle reaches it.

When activated, a huge sheet of Mylar, Tyvek, or similar material will suddenly drop down like a curtain to obstruct the roadway, so that the fleeing car is forced to either stop or crash through it. The sheet is lightweight enough that it will not damage the vehicle. (It could be perforated so that it breaks apart in large chunks.) It is coated with a non-permanent adhesive (something like Post-it notes or flypaper) so that, if a car crashes through it, it sticks to the vehicle, especially the windshield, and obstructs the driver's view. Then, unless the driver is a complete idiot, he will immediately stop—or else drive so erratically that he will soon crash or be captured.

Hopefully, the material will also wrap around the vehicle sufficiently to impede the driver from exiting the vehicle and fleeing on foot.

In any case, the material can be easily peeled off from the outside, allowing officers to arrest the driver, or allowing the driver to go on his way if he is not wanted.

Jim Bob of Merriam Park, Jul 01 2009

"Today, a successful large scale deployment halted hundreds of fleeing criminals..." http://2.bp.blogspo...(c)1976+Christo.jpg
[normzone, Jul 01 2009]


       what a good idea.   

       I really worry that my airbag will ex/implode (whatever they do) due to something-failure and now I will fear bridges but...   

       +1 for a newbie
po, Jul 01 2009

       Fun idea, but intelligent criminals (oxymoron?) will jam the frequency used to drop the curtain until they have cleared the overpass, then trigger their own signal to drop the curtain on their pursuers.   

       But welcome to the Halfbakery.
normzone, Jul 01 2009

       I still think that ritualized voodoo unpersoning is the right way to deal with those who violate the taboo.
WcW, Jul 02 2009

       "Then, unless the driver is a complete idiot, he will immediately stop—or else drive so erratically that he will soon crash or be captured."   

       Unfortunately there is a very much above average chance that the driver will be a complete idiot and crash into innocent bystanders.   

       My preferance would be for an EMP device to disable the vehicle (don't steal cars if you have a pacemaker!)
Twizz, Jul 02 2009

       //not a bad first post// - very gracious of you, [21Q]
hippo, Jul 02 2009

       Unless the driver is a complete idiot, he will realise that the police are perfectly capable of catching him no matter what he does, so he won't get involved in the car chase to begin with.   

       I've got a beautiful mental image of a car smashing its way through a big sheet of the stuff though, so [+] for that.   

       (And to avoid any accusations of sexism, my usage of the words "he" and "him" above are intended as generic pronouns, not as any kind of implication that women can't be complete idiots too.)
Wrongfellow, Jul 02 2009

       In fairness to the OP on the topic of "Drivers may well be complete idiots", it is by no means uncommon for a driver to be showing no remorse and fleeing the police to stop after being stingered (or at least rapidly and safely detained, but often the driver will give up entirely) so there is no reason to believe the same wouldn't apply to this.
Germanicus, Jul 04 2009

       hippo, am thinking a 21Bot!
po, Jul 04 2009

       [WcW], ritualized voodoo unpersoning is the right way to deal with those who violate the taboo. I believe this should be the solution to all problems.
normzone, Jul 05 2009

       It's a nice idea, but we refer you to the designs of John Moses Browning of Ogden, Utah, U.s.A.   

       His devices for ending car chases propmptly and with the minimum of fuss have been available for many decades, and are simple and highly efficient (particularly the belt-fed ones in 12.7mm calibre)
8th of 7, Jul 05 2009


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