East Sussex Police have recently introduced their latest tool to promote road safety. With the youth audience in mind, a Lotus Exige S has been added to the fleet and has been appearing at events and local areas identified as hotspots for young drivers to enhance their road safety campaign.
East Sussex Police have been successfully engaged in similar projects for several years, pioneering the approach with the use of motorbikes. The fully liveried Lotus Exige S is currently a pivotal part of the Force’s campaign to educate less experienced drivers.
Shockingly, one third of East Sussex’s serious or fatal road accidents involve 17-25 year olds and East Sussex Police are committed to tackling this at the root cause. The Police Exige S is a vital part of the plan as it acts an ice-breaker, opens the lines of communication and allows the officers to build rapport with the drivers.
“Rather than sending a standard response unit to the scene of a disturbance caused by younger drivers getting together and doing doughnuts, we want to talk to the younger drivers. We talk about the car, its performance and their cars. Once the barriers are down we can talk to them about more serious road safety issues,” explains Sergeant Paul Masterson.
Sergeant Masterson goes on to explain how successful the Exige S has been in supporting the team’s efforts further afield. The car has been the showpiece of several events Nationwide and was the star attraction at Lotus’ 40th anniversary celebrations in June. Visitors to the mph07 show will be the next audience to see the Exige S when it opens in London from 1st until 4th November 2007.
The car’s attention-seeking appearance is second to none, even catching the eye of other police forces. Sergeant Masterson relays being pulled over by South Wales Police following an event. “They hadn’t seen anything like it before, but thought it was a fantastic idea!” he enthuses.
Taking into account the increase in drivers in East Sussex, figures show that engaging and educating young motorists is successfully reducing the number of accidents on their roads. What’s more, due to the generous sponsorship of Dream Machines, Heathfield who supplied the Lotus, this life saving endeavour costs the tax-paying public absolutely nothing.Published 29 October 2007