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Toyota launches patrol car to survive sleeping policemen

A patrol car capable of withstanding traffic calming measures has been launched with help from a UK force.

A global car manufacturer has teamed up with Derbyshire to develop a patrol car that can cope with the growing number of speed bumps on Britain’s roads.

Toyota has been working with the force to develop a strengthened traffic vehicle to better withstand driving over speed bumps and high kerbs during responses with full kit load.  

The force had begun a search for a solution due to increasing wear on its fleet and turned to the car firm which has a manufacturing plant in Burnaston.

Richard Kenworthy, TMUK Managing Director, said: “We have had a good relationship with our local emergency services for 30 years, so when Derbyshire Police approached us requesting a vehicle that could respond to their requirements we were more than happy to investigate solutions.”

The firm responded by modifying a Corolla Trek – an estate model – and fitting it with a rough-road pack which raises its ride height so there’s less risk of damage to the body and wheel arches. The car has also been fitted with steel wheels to help soak up the punishment.

UK driving conditions are known in the car industry to be the most challenging in the world as surfaces vary from the very best to potholes, tracks – and in urban areas speed bumps.

According to official figures, there are now more than 42,000 individual speed bumps on 12,000 roads across the UK.

Manufacturers go to extensive lengths to factor all this into their testing cycles – one shipped a section of cobbled Belgian highway to its UK development track so engineers could gather the maximum data on potential use by British drivers.

The Toyota prototype, which has been given a full media launch by the firm, is now about to face its toughest test: evaluation at the hands of the constabulary’s officers.

They will also rate other features requested including built-in satellite navigation, parking sensors, a dog guard for the load space.

Terry Hitchcock, Derbyshire Police’s Fleet Manager said: “Derbyshire Police appreciate the opportunity to operate this locally built bespoke product, it will be used for operational purposes within South Derbyshire. 

"We are looking forward to seeing how the vehicle performs in this role, particularly with the hybrid power as we start to move away from the traditional standard diesel and petrol cars.”

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