A new orange police car has arrived in Nelson as police bid to increase their visibility on the roads and reduce unsafe driving this summer.
The distinctive V6 Holden is part of a nationwide publicity campaign promoting safer journeys.
Police are rolling out 28 red and orange police cars over the next year as part of the campaign.
Tasman District road policing manager Inspector Jenni Richardson said police were moving to a prevention first strategy that included a high visibility presence.
"At the end of the day, we are not trying to sneak up and catch people who are breaking the road rules."
The days of unmarked cars were not entirely over but the force was definitely steering in a new direction, she said.
"It is not about ticket numbers but it has never been about ticket numbers. It is about prevention."
Contrary to popular belief, police did not have to fill ticket quotas, she said.
This myth would never be put to rest, however.
"We are simply trying to keep road tolls down and to stop people speeding generally.
"I suppose the message is that we are not trying to hide."
The coloured vehicles would hopefully reduce speeding, drink driving and other unsafe behaviour that put all people at risk on the roads, she said.
Nelson Bays prevention manager Senior Sergeant Dave Gibson said the coloured cars were also intended to generate public discussion about road safety issues.
They introduced the idea that any vehicle on the roads, of any colour, could be a police car.
Tasman highway patrol officer Mike Turner said the new car's colour was striking and would stand out on the roads.
"It'll be interesting to see the reception from the general motorists."
During the two-month period last year there were 416 serious injuries on New Zealand roads, including 57 deaths.
As of this week police reduced the speed limit tolerance to 4kmh as part of the summer safety campaign.
The 4kmh speed allowance will run until January 31.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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