Miranda Alam/Special to Sun
Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 | 2 a.m.
Blue and red lights flashed in the rearview mirror of a convertible at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Then suddenly, the red Ford Mustang spun out and came to a stop, tires smoking and the smell of burning rubber wafting through the air.
The demonstration of the pursuit intervention technique — or PIT maneuver — in which the pursuing car taps the back of the other vehicle is part of Police Chase Las Vegas, a driving experience opening in January at the raceway. Geared toward thrill-seekers, the attraction puts participants in the middle of a realistic police pursuit.
Jay Bloom, one of the founders of the business, said he came up with the idea after driving on a police obstacle course. He said flipping on the blue lights and chasing another car was an “amazing” adrenaline rush.
He also got the chance to take a seat in the car being chased. “Everything in my body is saying pull over, but I have a police officer next to me saying, ‘floor it,’ and it’s such a thrill,” Bloom said.
He wanted to share his experience with his friends but soon found out there was no such commercial experience available.
At Police Chase Las Vegas, participants in the PIT maneuver experience will be able to take part in either side of the pursuit, with instructors behind the wheel. In a basic chase sequence, clients will be able to drive the police car or getaway car with an instructor in the vehicle.
The nine drivers the company has hired so far are former police officers, some of whom retired from Metro Police as instructors, Bloom said.
For driving roles, participants get classroom instruction “as well as hands-on safety training by authentic police professionals with vast training in all areas of defensive driving,” according to the company.
Using four buses originally outfitted to transport inmates, the attraction will offer a shuttle service from Strip properties.
“This experience appeals to some base or core emotion,” Bloom said. “Everybody wonders what it’s like to be (a police officer) or to run from the police, but we never get to do it. But here you can do it consequence-free.”
For more information, prices and booking, visit policechaselv.com.