Magistrates told Daniel Watson, 31, death would likely have resulted had a parent pushed a pram into residential roads.
They slammed Watson, of Keswick Avenue, Fullwell, for antics committed so officers would not discover his 10 cocaine wraps, and diazepam.
Prosecutors revealed he drove onto pavements and cut corners in a friend’s Ford Focus during his escape bid at 4.50pm on Saturday, March 26.
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At one point he sped towards two police cars blocking his path at intervals but steered past them by careering onto pavements.
It ended when he crashed in Yewtree Avenue, Marley Potts, and was arrested as he tried to scale a fence after fleeing on foot.
Magistrates in South Tyneside jailed Watson, who has no previous convictions, for 12 weeks but suspended the sentence for 18 months.
Clinton Leeks, chair of the bench, told him: “Had someone carried a pram out between the roads, they would probably be dead.
“We do view the risk to the public as very serious.”
Prosecutor Clare Irving said Watson powered along streets including Elmwood Avenue, Old Mill Road and Everton Lane.
At South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, she added: “It was a residential area with children. The defendant was driving at 40 or 50mph.
“He drove towards a police vehicle. The Ford Focus mounted the pavement, narrowly missing a police car.
“The police heard over the radio from a motor patrol vehicle that the defendant had crashed.
“Two males were seen running away. One was held at the scene and the defendant was detained after he tried to scale a residential fence.”
Watson pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to dangerous driving and driving without insurance.
He also admitted driving without a licence, failing to stop, possession of cocaine and possession of diazepam.
Jason Smith, defending, disputed the seriousness of Watson’s driving and claimed it had been exaggerated by police.
He added: “He has no previous convictions, warnings, cautions or reprimands. He made a mistake.”
Watson, who is in employment, must also complete 32 rehabilitation days and complete 100 hours of unpaid work, and was banned from driving for two years.
He must pay a £128 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.