March 29, 2004
British Summer Time

Putting the clocks forward by an hour makes the journey home from work a little more interesting. Because the extra hour of daylight makes it all the more possible to focus the eye on more than just those things that are illuminated by the evening street lights when looking out of the bus window. There is also something psyhcologically “feel-good” about it. I stepped out of the house this morning - and it actually felt sunny, warm and - well - pleasant.

On the way home - as the bus stopped and started its way down Wembley High Road - I fixed my stare on a Police car in the traffic queue in the opposite direction. The silvery-grey BMW in Metropolitan Police livery looked quite impressive. Around a year ago - all the police cars in London used to be mostly white in colour. And then suddenly (almost as if overnight) they all turned silver. I’m not sure why they did that - presumably the silver is much more flourescent at night - and therefore more visible?

Pity I couldn’t test that hypothesis - as it was daylight on the way home tonight …

Wembley High Road - BMW Police Car

(Used the Gaussian blur and canvas texturiser in Photoshop.)

Posted by jag at March 29, 2004 11:52 PM

They’ve all gone silver over here too and the probable reason is that BMW must be offering a special price for a joint order from the Bavarian police and the Met. We’ll probably never find out. I’m pleased about summer time too as I’m starting a new job after Easter and can ride there (and back) by bike through the Englischer Garten, our big park. You can muse on a bike too, if your auto-pilot dog alert is finely tuned enough).

Posted by: David on March 30, 2004 01:19 PM

The police went over to silver because resale values are higher than for white cars. If you’re running a big fleet. these things matter.

Posted by: Not Responding on March 30, 2004 07:30 PM

You have BMW’s as police cars there - Dont you think thats a bit to pricey for a vehicle that is likely to get dented often?

Posted by: sat on March 30, 2004 08:17 PM

David: nice theory - but I think that NotOnMyWatch has provided the answer for us. Also: re Englischer Garten in Munich - I was there: an evening at the restuarant there a few months ago - what a very nice place! Although I was a bit intrigued by the fact that the beer-kiosk in the grounds outside closed at around 11pm-ish. Despite that - there were still LOADs of people around in the dark - and lots with bikes too! I remember standing by the lake-edge and seeing ducks in the dead of the night. Amazing!

NotOnMyWatch: Thanks for the explanation. Makes perfect sense.

Posted by: Jag on March 30, 2004 08:18 PM

Sat: Police cars over here very rarely get dented. People drive very carefully whenever there is a police car around! :-)
Actually - the “standard issue” patrol cars are normally Vauxhall (GM) Vectras in London - the higher-powered cars (e.g. BMWs) are usually used by the “Transport” section of the Metropolitan Police; very appropriate for high-speed chases etc.

Posted by: Jag on March 30, 2004 08:20 PM

It was a decision based on re sale values - you ever tried to flog an old white care lately? It was an added bonus that at night they can be seen better.

It is an expensive car but only a certain level of response driver uses them.

Posted by: Gary on April 1, 2004 03:15 PM

Cheers Gary - makes sense re the resale value. That’s what NotOnMyWatch has also said above too.

Posted by: Jag on April 1, 2004 07:34 PM

i am police officer working for the met traffic police.
the reason for the colour change was for better resale value.
the bmw was also chosen for thier for thier award winning diesel engine which can more than cope with the day to day thrashings and reduced fuel costs. these cars even change up a gear in reverse. we also run mercs aswell but look out the blue & green subaru wrx,s that are slowly being introduced to the streets of london.

Posted by: james long on February 8, 2005 02:23 PM
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