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Create No-Fly Zone Over Car Chases

March 03, 2003

Re "Top Cops Pan TV Car Chase Coverage," Feb. 27: Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn and law enforcement officials' reasonable pleas for TV stations to scale back their coverage of police car chases clearly fell on deaf ears. This is understandable given the huge jump in stations' ratings every time they show motorists evading the police.

It is time for government officials to take a tougher approach: Establish no-fly zones for TV helicopters over chase areas, and enforce the zones by levying hefty fines on defiant television stations. An attack on the stations' pocketbooks would prove more successful than an appeal to their social responsibility. Since TV coverage creates a "clear and present danger" of encouraging people to evade the police to receive their 15 minutes of fame, the 1st Amendment must yield to public safety in this situation.

Alex Ricciardulli

Los Angeles

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