It would be fair to say the traffic troops of our roads are confronted by some colourful conversations when informing someone they have transgressed.

So perhaps it is fitting they have added colour to their modes of transport.

A couple of months back Hawke's Bay became one of the first spots in the country to add a more distinctly coloured patrol car to the fleet.

It's bright-red livery with 'Police' branded in blue was in absolute contrast to the more traditional white (with blue and yellow touches) cars.


I thought it was very apt, as red and blue are usually the first colours, albeit in a flashing form, miscreants will spot in the rear view mirrors.

And now the fleet has expanded to four - two red and two orange cars.

They will be spotted as regularly as the five more traditionally marked cars and the two plain-livery cars running the Bay's roads.

They stand out, no doubt about that, and some would argue they appear to have just come off the grid at Bathurst.

Which reminds me of an occasion where one chap bemoaned to me that he felt "gutted" he had been pulled up by a Holden ... he was a devout Ford enthusiast and I suspect he was actually serious.

I pointed out that whatever the make and model, and the colour for that matter, the bottom line was he erred and got pinged for it.

As I have through the years, to the tune of two warnings and one infringement notice - the latter well justified as I was on a motorcycle heading for a bike race and was sort of getting in the mood just out of Dannevirke.

For the police a profile is important, and the coloured units do that.

I have seen similar cars in Australia and they made me aware of one thing - the police are out on the roads.

After we spotted a colourful unit somewhere on the road to Bendigo my first reaction, after taking in the unique sight and remarking on the "colourful coppers", was to look down at the rental's speedo.

When you see a patrol car you do that.

It's instinctive.

You also get a bright reminder that the road police are "out there".

I think the coloured cars are very good because profile and awareness is vital.

Plus, there are as many red cars as white cars out there across the landscape so now the chances of that oncoming car being a police job are doubled.

However, we have a Ford so I do have some slight reservations.