High-vis red car hits roads

There is nothing subtle about the colour and design of the Hawke's Bay region's newest addition to the road policing fleet - and that's the point.

"We want people to see it and we want people to talk about it, and talk about being safe on the road," Eastern District acting road policing manager Inspector Peter McKennie said as he took delivery of one of the 28 "highly visible" police patrol cars being rolled out across the country over the next year.

Bright red and emblazoned with the familiar blue-and-yellow flashes, the new Holden VF Commodore SV6 almost makes the traditional white patrol cars look invisible.

Coloured cars have been used successfully throughout several Australian states in the past few years to raise awareness and make people think about their approach to driving and general safety.

A red car was trialled in Waikato District and drew what police described as a "positive" response from the public, so the decision was made to introduce them in limited numbers, throughout the country's 12 police districts.

The Eastern Police District is among the first five districts to get one and it will be used mainly on the highways in Hawke's Bay and Gisborne.

Mr McKennie said the timing was spot on. "It fits in nicely with our Safer Summer campaign."

It was also a welcome addition to the fleet as police gear up to make their presence felt across urban and rural areas.

He said the "hi-vis" car would be joined by regular patrol cars and a fleet of unmarked cars as police target speedsters, drink drivers and drivers and passengers not wearing seat restraints.

Mr McKennie said the summer season was traditionally a risky time on the roads and he urged people to be patient on the roads and to plan their journeys when holidaying.

"Simple stuff like don't have a big night out if you're heading away the next morning - and if you feel your concentration is slipping, then pull over and take a break."

Police will be strictly enforcing a reduced speed threshold of 4km/h and will be on the look-out for unsafe driving.

"You will see us out there."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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