A smart proved to be a smash hit for Tayside Police at this year's T in the Park.
Mercedes Benz UK supplied a smart fortwo demonstrator in full police livery for officers to use to move between various sites set up by Tayside Police at the festival, including a command centre, briefing room and lost property area.
Following its appearance at T in the Park, several other Scottish police forces are now going to trial the smart car. It will be loaned to the Lothian & Borders, Strathclyde, Fife and Central Scotland constabularies before returning to Tayside Police, who want to test the car in urban surroundings.
At T in the Park, the smart's environmental credentials perfectly complemented the green reputation of an event that is now in its 16th year.
"The fuel consumption and carbon footprint of vehicles is now high on the agenda of every police force in the country," said Graham Strachan, Tayside Police's Fleet Manager. "smart's reputation for economy and low emissions is well-known so it was perfect for us to evaluate it at T in the Park.
"The smart has gained an almost iconic status and the vehicles are highly visible," he added. "With its police livery, the car became even more of a focal point and an excellent means of maintaining our presence throughout the festival."
Iain Macpherson, Mercedes Benz UK's Corporate Development Manager - North, who has arranged the evaluations, said that smart cars are perfect for "friendly force policing".
"People seem to genuinely warm to smarts which make them ideal for community roles - whether general patrol work or visiting local schools, youth groups and neighbourhood watches," he explained.
The smart micro hybrid drive (mhd) has an automatic stop-start function which operates during the engine idling phases, stopping when it senses the car's speed dropping below 5mph and the driver is braking before instantly re-starting when the brake pedal is released. As a result of this technology, smart mhd models return fuel savings of up to 24 per cent over their predecessors and emit just 103g/km of CO2.
Macpherson continued, "In today's economic climate, smart's low running costs are attracting more interest than ever before from private customers and business users. The recently launched smart fortwo cdi also has massive appeal, thanks to its offering of 85.6 miles per gallon (combined) and the lowest CO2 emissions of any current production car at just 88g/km."Published 14 July 2009