The CSD worked with the non-profit Braver Angels to host a large public debate on Washington HB 1363 dealing with police vehicular pursuits.


HB 1363 was introduced in the 2023 legislative section. The new bill seeks to reduce the threshold from probable cause to reasonable suspicion AND expand the list of violations to simply “criminal offense.” The relevant passage from the bill is “A peace officer may not conduct a vehicular pursuit, unless there is reasonable suspicion a person in the vehicle has committed or is committing a criminal offense and the safety risks of failing to apprehend or identify the person are considered to be greater than the safety risks of the vehicular pursuit under the circumstances.” An amended bill passed out of the House Transportation Committee on Feb. 23 and is was debated in the Senate.


180 students in COM 234 met to debate on zoom the resolution, Police should be given more flexibility to conduct vehicular pursuits if they believe someone has committed a criminal offense, as outlined in HB 1363. 

Students debated the resolution according to parliamentary procedure for two hours. Afterwards, students reflected on the debate. Here is a small selection of their comments.

“I liked the parliament procedure and how kind each of the chair’s were! It felt like a safe space to discuss controversial topics.”

“I liked that there was a formal aspect to the debate. I’ve never been a part of something like that before. I also liked that there were passionate opinions on each side. I also thought that my moderator was very helpful, he facilitated conversation very well.”

“The debate was a well-moderated, respectful conversation between debaters with different perspectives on a controversial issue. The debate allowed both sides to express their views and engage in thoughtful discussion, which is a valuable and important aspect of civil discourse.”

“I thought it was informative to have an opportunity to share not only my views but hear and respond to others’ views. As this was a topic I have had exposure to my entire life, it was interesting to hear diverse perspectives on it. ”

“The practice of thinking on your feet, actively listening to another person’s argument in the framework of how you will respond to it, and applying the ideas we learned about in the class.”

“I appreciated the size of the group – I felt it was a good balance that facilitated good conversation. I also appreciated the non confrontational format, addressing the speaker directly helped people step forward without feeling attacked.”

You can read more about HB 1363 here.

Urquhart, J. (August 12, 2022). Police-chase law is saving lives — it would be a mistake to roll it back. The Seattle Times.

Wilkinson, E. (September 23, 2022). Washington law enforcement agencies push back on recent pursuit law. KING-5.

Harris, J. (January 17, 2023). What’s in the proposed bills to change Washington’s police pursuit law? KOMO News

Casey, W. (January 20, 2023). Cops want to endanger innocent lives by making car chases easier. The Stranger.

House Community Safety, Justice, & Reentry. (January 31, 2023). Public hearing on HB 1363: Concerning vehicular pursuits

Davis, B. (February 2, 2023). Rep. Roger Goodman: ‘Police actually politicized’ Washington’s restrictive pursuit law. The Center Square.

Braun, J. (February 6, 2023). WA Democrats must fix police-pursuit mistake this session. The Seattle Times

Oron, G. (February 15, 2023). In pursuit of good policy: Washington legislators debate validity of the data used to justify 2021 police reforms. Real Change.

House Community Safety, Justice, & Reentry. (February 20, 2023). Public hearing on HB 1363: Concerning vehicular pursuits Note: watch from 59:54-2:33:33

Tri-City Herald Editorial Board. (2023, February 22). One lawmaker should not thwart proposed changes to WA’s police pursuit law. Tri-City Herald

Davis, B. (March 2, 2023). Police pursuit reform legislation getting some traction in WA Legislature. The Center Square.