As part of its mandate to protect the province's roadways for all drivers, RCMP NL Traffic Services has added two new specialty police cars to its fleet. With subdued decals and unique lights and sirens, you may have to look a little harder to spot them, which is kind of the point. Covert traffic enforcement allows police officers to proactively target dangerous driving behaviours, including speeding, distracted driving and lack of seatbelt use, all of which have been responsible for many serious and fatal vehicle collisions in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The two modified Ford Sedan Police Interceptors are not the typical marked or ghost cars the public has gotten used to. The two cars were outfitted with special features by Joe Dowden, the meticulous Vehicle Installer for RCMP NL, including subdued decals, hidden antennas and special lights. Officer in Charge of RCMP NL Traffic Services, Staff Sergeant David Ossinger, welcomed the new covert cars to the fleet.
"Having the two specialized covert cars added to the Traffic Services fleet gives the officers an advantage of allowing them to get a little closer to a violating driver," said Staff Sergeant Ossinger. "This increases the possibility of gathering more information to issue traffic tickets where warranted and, hopefully, curb bad driving behaviour."
One of the new covert cars is already in service in the Holyrood area. Sergeant Matthew Christie noted the benefits to law enforcement.
"We have been able to increase our enforcement activity because of this car," said Sergeant Matthew Christie, supervisor for Traffic Services East. "In many instances, vehicles have passed our covert car while travelling in excess of 151 km/hr. These drivers were immediately pulled over, had their licences suspended and their vehicles impounded." Sergeant Christie added that the car is a bit of a conversation piece, too, with many positive comments from the public, with the exception, of course, of those ticketed as a result of the covert enforcement.
The second covert vehicle will be put to use soon at another location in the province. Spot it if you can!