I stumbled upon this “educational” (for lack of a better word) film while surfing YouTube. Apparently, California State Police produced this internal training film, I guess for would-be chauffeurs who will never see it, because it was department – internal.
Besides hordes of CCs, ramming and being rammed, I love how all of this looks like someone’s been watching too many Dirty Harry movies. But it’s just as enjoyable, almost being given a carte blanche to drive like a maniac when being (or think you’re being) threatened.
Few points of interest for me; The GTO wreaked nose (undoubtedly recognized for what it is by the filmmakers and thus included in the film), the soooo out-of-place-among-US-iron Renault 17 TS, and the Street-Rod 57 Bel-Air with home-made painted flames. Look for them in the film:
I wonder how valid this advice still is. Cars are engineered and built to protect occupants in accidental collisions, functionality as a battering ram is well down the priority list.
On the other hand, terrorist tactics have long since moved away from targeted attacks on high-profile VIPs to random ones on public spaces, so counterterrorism is more focused on keeping vehicles away from spaces where they shouldn’t be, and also needs to look at keeping them moving through spaces that aren’t designated parking areas. Actually, not creating bottlenecks of non-VIPs *by their own security measures* should be a major focus of all counterterrorist agencies, both to better serve the public and to avoid simply moving the target.
Today, in any ramming scenario, the driver’s control of the ramming vehicle would be negated by the airbag. Energy-absorbing crush zones could incapacitate the ramming vehicle.
Modern unibody cars would arguably fare better in the ramming aspect since, despite crumple zones, there is more front end body structure than most of these frame cars where the external sheetmetal is the bulk of the front end steel. You can see a few of these crashes bent the fenders right into the wheel opening, which could puncture a tire and/or limit steering, modern cars the fenders are flimsy compared to the structure they’re bolted to and wouldn’t likely pose that problem. They emphasize that these are low speed as well, not 35mph impacts you see in an nhtsa offset barrier crash, and utilizing a corner of your car protects the radiator, while hitting the lighter corner of the blocked car softens the blow, the information is pretty sound to an extent.
Airbags deploying and the fuel pump inertia cutoff switches would be a problem though.
Does any manufacturer OTHER than Ford use fuel pump inertia switches?
I’m not so sure a modern car would fair so much better. Those old cars have frames with a metal bumper attached to help with the battering ram aspect. There also tends to be some space between the front of the car and engine components, so they are better protected. There’s really not much of anything substantial protecting those same components in a modern car. Many modern cars have the radiator overflow tank in one of the corners too – if you’re going to start ramming other vehicles you might want to note which corner it is located because once that’s smashed you’re going to start losing your coolant.
Though my guess is any VIP nowadays who might be concerned about a scenario like in the video would have a large, heavy, body on frame SUV like a Suburban with aftermarket crash bars installed on the front. In which case all the same tactics would more or less carry over, and would be significantly better for some situations such as jumping curbs.
Modern cars may have plastic bumpers on the outside, but underneath is a substantial metal bumper. Neither one, new or old, is designed with the intent of ramming parked cars out of the way at 10-20mph, but the modern unibody front end structure is stronger than an old body on frame structure even, where all of the front end strength is concentrated into the frame rails.
Jumping curbs is something I’d feel the older cars would fare better at though, modern car suspensions are engineered to be lightweight for handling, where just potholes can inflict severe damage. More truck like suspensions of the cars in the video can take a beating before outright failure
Wow! A great find. Just FYI, the California State Police is a small agency dedicated to protecting state government locations. It’s not our “real” state police, the California Highway Patrol, or CHP, which patrols roads and investigates certain crimes.
Not any more. The California State Police was abolished as a separate agency in 1995 (at the time it was the oldest law enforcement agency in the State). Its duties and petsonnel were merged into the California Highway Patrol.
Oops, thanks. I was relying on memory. Great to have the CC fact checkers here!
Looks like the morning rush hour near my home, including the gun toting driver!!🤨🤨🤨
1974 LASD driver training film.
That was a fun watch, a few things in particular stand out:
-Every TV 70s-80s cop show creator clearly saw this restricted viewing
-Semi-automatic AR15s were still scary looking 40 years ago
-No then-new white mid 70s Fury sedans were harmed in the making of this! (Oh how that would change in a few short years!)
-The gigantic film camera taped to the hood of the Coronet is the proto-GoPro
-Rich people are encouraged to have their chauffeurs damage public and private property and endanger the public’s health and safety in the evasive process.
-I feel like a few of those rammings immobilized both cars and the camera conveniently cut to the next scene.
-I learned all of these things playing Grand Theft Auto games
Besides a few well placed scene cuts, the other thing it looks like they did which could be a bit dishonest is that many of the cars they rammed appeared to be in neutral with the parking brake not set. If the parking brake was set and the car was in gear/park they may not have moved out of way so easily when rammed.
Not to mention the hood flying open on the ’65 Newport at 8:35. That could be a problem when trying to flee.
Today you would want a heavy SUV with “brush guard”, and a airbag deactivate panic button on the steering wheel (especially for side curtain bags) so your not blinded after ramming for these techniques to be effective.
I really enjoyed that. Shows like Burn Notice and Person Of Interest have explained some of this. Rockford would employ his reverse 180 too. How many Mopars did The Dukes Of Hazzard and The A Team destroy? I watched a lot of TV as a kid apparently…
Road blocks you could steer around but ramming is recommended, make sure you slow down beforehand though, the voiceover muppet is pure comedy trying to ramp up paranoia ROFLMAO.
The street rod Bel Air was hilarious.
This 40+ year old video was especially interesting from the point of view of someone who has gone though this kind of training recently. I would like to say that, contrary to many of the comments above, practically everything in this video is still valid today. A few main points to emphasize are:
– The ramming technique described is exactly what you would do today, with only the terminology changed. The idea is to slow down and PUSH the other car out of the way instead of ramming it, hitting it at 10-15 mph at the wheel at the opposite end from the mass of the engine (the rear axle for front-engine cars) and accelerating through. This works for all vehicles, even small cars striking much larger cars, forget about unibody vs. body on frame or metal vs. plastic bumper or other factors. Mechanical details matter far less than physics.
– Crumple zones won’t crumple in the kind of impact involved here. Your wheels will stay in the same places and will not impede your ability to drive away.
– “Plastic” bumpers are just as effective as metal bumpers. The two steel supports, steel crossbar, and Styrofoam bumper (the plastic cover is irrelevant) push the other car out of the way just as effectively as a steel bumper on its two steel supports. The Styrofoam may actually be better, because if you hit the other car too hard, the Styrofoam may pass less impact to your radiator, which is crucially important (see below).
– The ability to drive away is absolutely crucial and is why you slow before impact and accelerate through it. The ramming doesn’t solve your problem, getting away ASAP does. Your drivetrain must survive long enough for you to get away from the ambush site. Also, if you do it right your radiator will survive and you will be able to drive for a while without your engine seizing.
– Airbags are not a major problem because you will not be hurled forward into them if you are doing things right. You should be pushing yourself back into your seat, and since you will be accelerating through the other vehicle (remember the advice to hit the accelerator as hard as possible and not feather it), you will be pushed further backward. The airbag may blow up in front of you, but it should not hit you in the face since you won’t be going forward into it.
Just my $.02 based on what I was taught and a few trial runs using these methods.
Robert, thanks for this insight… you answered just about every question I had about evasive driving in modern times.