House Majority Leader Brad Dee, R-Ogden, sponsored the legislation, arguing that lawmakers should protect law-enforcement officers who are doing their jobs within the normal policies and guidelines.
"If a person is a suspect and decides to flee a legal pursuit or a legal stop by a legal law-enforcement officer, that if they choose to put themselves in danger, then we don't owe them a duty of care and we can't be held liable if they do something to kill themselves," Dee said.
Rep. Richard Greenwood, R-Roy, a retired Utah Highway Patrol officer, said law enforcement needs the protection, and officers were aware of the court ruling.
"Since this ruling, I have heard comments such as this: 'I will never, ever chase another vehicle. If someone decides to run, I'm just going to go the other way,'" Greenwood said. "Those are not the comments I want to hear from our professional people out on the street."
Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, argued the immunity extended by the bill was too broad and would also keep the families of passengers in the car from seeking damages. The measure was amended to only provide immunity if the passengers were in the car voluntarily.