The Chase is a four-day Herald series looking at police pursuits and fleeing drivers. Since January 2008 there have been more than 30,000 pursuits, hundreds of crashes and 79 deaths. The series runs from Monday to Thursday ahead of a joint review of pursuits by police and the IPCA which will be released on Friday.

A woman who led police on a high speed chase says she had "no choice" but to flee.

And while she admits her actions were "stupid" she wants people to understand why she took off before they judge her.

Blenheim mum-of-two Sarah Elizabeth Anderson, 29, pleaded guilty to charges of reckless driving and failing to stop in January.


She was convicted, fined $700 and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Anderson said the decision to put her foot down was driven by fear - not of being caught by officers, but of her passenger.

She said the man was wanted by police and as soon as officers tried to stop her, he left her with no option.

"They stopped in the middle of the road while I was at the intersection," she said.

"My passenger told me he'd hurt me if I didn't drive.

"Then at the next intersection he told me if he was taken into custody he'd get bail and come after my kids."

Anderson said she had a "mix of emotions" racing though her as she fled, reaching speeds of up to 160km/h as she manoeuvred her car around other vehicles.

"I mainly wanted to keep my kids safe," she said.


Anderson said she was scared throughout the chase.

She'd driven at high speed before, but never away from police.

"I hesitated, but once the threat was made I didn't see stopping as an option," she explained.

"I wasn't scared or worried about hurting anyone, I didn't overtake any vehicle unless it was absolutely safe to do so.

"I am a confident driver and had confidence in my truck as I knew it's limits."

She said she took the "safest route" to evade police, who eventually abandoned the pursuit.

"Once absolutely sure had lost the police I stopped and let the passengers out," she said.

"Then next day made contact with the police."

Police charged her and as a result, Anderson lost her job as a courier driver.

She said she was "quite gutted".

Her advice to others considering fleeing police was simple.

"Is it worth it?," she said.

"Getting into a police pursuit was a stupid choice, but... I made the choice not to stop in order to return to my children unharmed and keep them from potential harm also," she said.

"I felt like I didn't have a choice.

"What sort of parent would risk their children getting harmed In anyway."

Anderson said hers was not a typical police chase where she was trying to avoid getting in trouble for something she'd done.

She wanted people to understand that there were many reasons people fled.

But, she encouraged people to stop for police when signalled.

"I had absolutely no choice, I was petrified of my safety and more importantly my children's safety," she said.

"Never judge or assume the situation without knowing what actually happened."