As part of the Barrie Police Service’s Evidence-Based Policing Initiatives, the Service has been looking at different aspects of police visibility within our community. 

Today, a new test design for the Barrie Police Service (BPS) cruisers, one of the most visible elements of the Service, was unveiled to the public, further to a community survey that was conducted online in June. 

Three existing cruisers have been updated with a half-Battenburg or checkerboard design and will be operational throughout the community beginning Tuesday, July 26, 2022. The Community Safety & Well-Being Teams, as well as the Traffic Unit will be utilising these test vehicles. The Battenburg pattern was created in the United Kingdom (UK) to enhance visibility and recognition of police vehicles from further distances. This can help enhance officer and public safety by reducing the likelihood of collisions, as well as encouraging motorists to drive more carefully when police have a visible presence. Higher police visibility has the potential to reduce or prevent opportunities to commit crimes. 

This project is funded through the Community Safety and Policing Grant. Any new police vehicle design would be phased in when new vehicles are ordered according to the Service’s budget. 

“The importance of ensuring police vehicles are visible can be seen in the potential improvements to not only perceptions of safety in our community, but also the physical safety of our members behind the wheel,” said Chief Kimberley Greenwood. “These test vehicles will be deployed in our community and any additional data on the public’s perception will be gathered by our team.” 

About the Design

Three existing cruisers have been updated with a half-Battenburg checkerboard design for improved visibility. This design incorporates blue and lime‐green/yellow, which is the most visible colour from a distance. 

Retroreflective fluorescent markings on the cars are shown to be extremely effective at increasing visibility based on Canadian research regarding transport trucks, and UK research on emergency vehicles. A full white retro‐reflective outline can be seen from 601 meters (approx. 2000 ft) away in clear conditions, 333 meters in snow, and 284 meters in rain. 

The design is focused on the side of the vehicle, making it more noticeable to motorists passing by and reducing side-impact collisions. It offers strengthened visibility from further distances and even in rain or snow. 

Watch for the BPS Battenburg Cruisers out and about in our community! For more information, please contact [email protected].

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