WELLINGTON Highway Patrol has taken short term ownership of the safest car in the Victoria Police fleet – the Mercedes AMG GLE 63 or ‘the Guardian’.
For the past week the Guardian has worked from the Wellington Highway Patrol garage as a fully marked and operational police car.
The reasoning behind the Guardian’s visit is to promote road safety among the community, while highlighting new crash avoidance and safety technology.
Sergeant Luke Banwell said this particular vehicle is fitted with innovative and leading edge safety systems as supplied by a world leader in vehicle safety.
“Our current fleet of police vehicles are of a high safety standard and ANCAP rating, however the Guardian is a demonstration vehicle which serves to highlight what technology is available and where road safety is heading from a manufacturer’s perspective,” Sgt Banwell said.
“Numerous vehicle manufactures are employing many of the same safe systems principles in their motor vehicle offerings and we should all strive to avail ourselves of the best technology we can afford.”
While total reliance on automated safety features is not advisable, Sgt Banwell said they are most beneficial for those occasions where the road, environment or other road users are presented with an unexpected situation requiring instant rectification.
“These systems can activate quicker than a human reaction,” Sgt Banwell said.
“No one is perfect and driver errors are made frequently.
“Activation of just one of the numerous safety systems may be the difference between a close call and a really bad day.”
Sgt Banwell believes the road toll could be halved if this safety technology became standard across all manufacturers, instead of an optional extra.
“When buying a vehicle, we encourage people to purchase the safest vehicle with the highest ANCAP rating possible.”
The vehicle has appeared at many local community and sporting events in the Sale area this week, and will next week travel to east Gippsland to promote the same safety message.