Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since October 1, 2019, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.

R728. Public Safety, Peace Officers Standards and Training.

Rule R728-503. Utah Minimum Standards for All Emergency Pursuit Policies to be Adopted by Public Agencies that Operate Authorized Emergency Pursuit Vehicles.

As in effect on October 1, 2019

Table of Contents

R728-503-1. Authority.

(1) This rule establishes minimum standards for all emergency pursuit policies to be adopted by public agencies authorized to operate authorized emergency pursuit vehicles.

(2) This rule is authorized by Subsection 41-6a-212(5).

R728-503-2. Definitions.

(1) Terms in this rule are defined in Section 41-6a-102.

(2) In addition:

(a) "agency emergency pursuit policy" means the written principles by which a Utah individual public agency that operates authorized emergency pursuit vehicles is guided in the management of its affairs concerning whether to, and how to, engage and disengage in the pursuit of a suspect by vehicle.

(b) "authorized emergency pursuit vehicle" means law enforcement vehicle, either marked or unmarked, properly equipped with audible sirens and visual lights owned and operated by a public agency.

(c) "back-up unit" means each authorized emergency pursuit vehicle assisting the primary unit.

(d) "balance test" means that a law enforcement officer shall act as a reasonably prudent emergency vehicle operator in like circumstances while making an ongoing decision process to analyze the risk of initiating, continuing, and terminating pursuit given the following considerations:

(i) the need to apprehend a fugitive who presents a danger to others because the serious and violent nature of the crime for which the fugitive is sought or because the fugitive's driving presents a threat to the public safety that may outweigh the risks that a pursuit poses to others; and

(ii) the need to avoid pursuit if the threat of public or officer safety is greater than the need for immediately apprehending the suspect.

(e) "boxing-in" means a technique designed to stop a violator's vehicle by surrounding it with authorized emergency pursuit vehicles and then slowing all vehicles to a stop.

(f) "channelization" means a technique where objects are placed in the anticipated or actual path of a pursued vehicle which tend to alter the vehicle's intended direction of travel.

(g) "intervention techniques" means specific operational tactics including immobilization, channelization, ramming, boxing-in, roadblock procedures, tire deflation devices (spike strips, etc.) which are intended to disable fleeing vehicles or otherwise prevent further flight or escape.

(h) "paralleling" means participating in the pursuit by proceeding in the same direction and maintaining approximately the same speed while traveling on an alternate street or highway that parallels the pursuit route.

(i) "primary unit" means the authorized emergency pursuit vehicle that initiates a pursuit or assumes control of the pursuit as the lead vehicle or the first authorized emergency pursuit vehicle immediately behind the fleeing suspect.

(j) "supervisor" means a law enforcement officer who, by virtue of rank or assignment, is responsible for the direction or supervision of the activities of other law enforcement officers.

R728-503-3. Purpose.

(1)(a) The purpose of this rule is to provide minimum standards, below which, the individualized law enforcement agency emergency pursuit policy may not legally go.

(b) It is not the intent nor legal purpose of these minimum standards to be exhaustive or all inclusive on this subject.

(2) As law enforcement officers consider the balance test, these minimum standards assist in training as well as providing a threshold for the law enforcement officer while analyzing the balance test in actual field situations.

(3)(a) The department establishes these minimum standards to assist each agency develop its own agency emergency pursuit policy.

(b) While implementing and revising an agency emergency pursuit policy, each agency shall use these minimum standards as a starting point and then individualize its agency emergency pursuit policy as needed.

R728-503-4. Initiating Pursuit Policy.

(1) Each law enforcement officer shall consider the balance test prior to engaging in an emergency vehicle pursuit.

(2) Each law enforcement officer in an authorized emergency pursuit vehicle may initiate a vehicular pursuit when the suspect exhibits the intention to avoid apprehension by refusing to stop when properly directed to do so.

(3) In deciding whether to initiate pursuit, the law enforcement officer may take into consideration:

(a) road, weather, and environmental conditions;

(b) population density and vehicular and pedestrian traffic;

(c) the relative performance capabilities of the pursuit vehicle and driver and the suspect vehicle being pursued;

(d) the seriousness of the offense;

(e) likelihood of pursuit resulting in apprehension;

(f) familiarity with the area and road; and

(g) any other pertinent factors.

R728-503-5. Pursuit Operations Policy.

(1) When initiating pursuit, each authorized emergency pursuit vehicle shall activate appropriate warning equipment including an audible signal or visual signal visible to the front of the pursuing vehicle.

(2) When initiating pursuit and when reasonably possible during the pursuit the law enforcement officer shall notify communications of:

(a) the location, direction, and speed of the pursuit;

(b) the description of the pursued vehicle including suspects and occupants; and

(c) the reason for the pursuit.

(3) When reasonably possible the law enforcement officer shall keep communications updated on the pursuit.

(4) When reasonably possible, communications personnel shall:

(a) notify any available agency supervisor of the pursuit;

(b) clear the radio channel of non-emergency traffic; and

(c) relay necessary information to other law enforcement officers and jurisdictions.

(5) When reasonably possible, units and supervisors involved in the pursuit shall use a single statewide or regional radio channel that communications may restrict to pursuit communications.

(6) Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, a pursuit shall consist of no more than two police vehicles, a primary and a back-up unit. All other personnel shall stay clear of the pursuit unless instructed to participate by a supervisor. No unit shall pass another unit involved in the pursuit unless specifically requested to do so or it is otherwise considered necessary.

(7) The primary unit shall become back-up when the pursued vehicle comes under air surveillance, if available, or when another unit is assigned primary responsibility.

R728-503-6. Supervisory Responsibilities.

(1) As with any critical law enforcement incident, it may not be necessary for the supervisor to be present in order to begin exercising management and control of the pursuit.

(2) When reasonably possible, the supervisor shall not actually be engaged in the pursuit itself.

(3) Each supervisor shall consider the balance test prior to authorizing the pursuit or its continuance.

(4) When reasonably possible each supervisor shall:

(a) monitor incoming information;

(b) coordinate and direct activities;

(c) appropriately limit the number of pursuing units; and

(d) ensure notification of law enforcement agencies into whose jurisdiction the pursuit is likely to enter.

(5) A supervisor shall have the discretion to terminate the pursuit.

R728-503-7. Pursuit Tactics.

(1) When reasonably possible, authorized emergency pursuit vehicles having the most prominent markings and emergency lights shall be used to pursue, particularly as the primary unit. When a pursuit is initiated by an unmarked patrol unit, such unit shall relinquish the pursuit to a marked patrol unit as soon as practical.

(2) Intervention techniques shall be used only when it is possible to do so safely and when the law enforcement officers using them have received training in their use.

(3) There shall be no paralleling the pursuit route.

(4) Motorcycles may be used for pursuit in exigent circumstances and when weather and related conditions allow. They shall relinquish the pursuit to a marked patrol unit as soon as practical.

(5) Roadblocks may not be used unless the circumstances would warrant the use of deadly force.

(a) When reasonably possible, roadblocks shall only be created with a supervisor's approval.

(b) When a roadblock is created, law enforcement officers shall:

(i) allow for reasonable stopping distance;

(ii) place the roadblock in a position that is reasonably visible;

(iii) reasonably ensure the safety of non-involved pedestrians and motorists; and

(iv) not place themselves or their vehicle in a position to jeopardize their own safety.

(6) Decisions to discharge firearms at or from a moving vehicle shall be governed by the law enforcement agency's use of force policy and are prohibited when they present an unreasonable risk to others. These decisions shall first be authorized when reasonably possible by a supervisor.

(7) When the pursued vehicle is stopped, law enforcement officers shall use appropriate officer safety tactics and shall be aware of the necessity to utilize only reasonable and necessary force to take suspects into custody.

R728-503-8. Interjurisdictional Pursuits.

(1) Chapter 77-9, the Uniform Act on Fresh Pursuit, governs Rule R728-503-8 as applicable.

(2) The primary unit shall notify communications when it is likely that a pursuit will continue into a neighboring jurisdiction or across the county or state line.

(3) When possible, the supervisor shall authorize inter-jurisdictional pursuit.

(4) When a pursuit enters another jurisdiction, the action of law enforcement officers shall be governed by the policy of the law enforcement officers' own agency, specific inter-local agreements and state law as applicable.

(5) Pursuit into a bordering state shall comply with the law of both states and any applicable inter-jurisdictional agreements.

R728-503-9. Termination of Pursuit.

(1) The supervisor or the primary unit in absence of a supervisor shall continually re-evaluate the balance test to assess the pursuit situation.

(a) The supervisor may order the termination of a pursuit at any time.

(b) The primary unit may terminate the pursuit at any time.

(2) A pursuit may be terminated under the following conditions:

(a) the suspect's identity has been determined and future apprehension is likely;

(b) air support is available to track the suspect;

(c) weather or traffic conditions substantially increase the danger of the pursuit beyond the necessity of apprehending the suspect;

(d) the distance between the suspect and pursuing vehicles makes further pursuit futile;

(e) immediate apprehension is not necessary to protect the public or law enforcement officers;

(f) the law enforcement officer is unfamiliar with the area and is unable to accurately communicate location and direction of pursuit; and

(g) the pursuit proceeds the wrong way on a limited access road, for example an interstate highway.

(3) Termination of pursuit shall include deactivating the audible siren and visual light equipment, pulling the vehicle to the side of the road, and stopping.

R728-503-10. Training.

(1) Law enforcement officers who drive emergency authorized pursuit vehicles shall receive initial minimum tactical pursuit training and initial training defined in Rule R728-503.

(2) Pursuit training shall include details concerning the balance test and its application as to initiating and terminating pursuits.

(3) Ongoing annual policy and procedure and case law review shall be required for law enforcement officers to assure they are knowledgeable with their own individual agencies emergency pursuit policy.


pursuit, emergency vehicles, policy

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

November 25, 2008

Notice of Continuation

November 12, 2018

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law


Additional Information


For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R728, please contact the promulgating agency (Public Safety, Peace Officers Standards and Training). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.