Chasing a criminal will be much easier for the Victoria police force as they now own the fastest Mercedes GLE63 MNG SUV dubbed “The Guardian” worth $200,000.
According to reports, the twin-turbocharged V8 is capable of reaching its speed limit within 4.2 seconds, which is faster than any Ford Falcon or Holden Commodore car. It is the most powerful and most expensive highway patrol vehicle that is best suited for police service.
However, even if the Victorian police force owns the fastest car, they are not allowed to speed up for the chase. In 2015, a new set of guidelines were introduced that stated that officers cannot initiate a chase until the crime poses a risk to public safety or leads to serious injuries. As a result, they believe owning an SUV is more of a promotion of car safety features than for pursuit services.
“Police have a responsibility to do more than just catching unsafe drivers and we can do this by promoting safer vehicles and encouraging business to play its part,” Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Doug Fryer said as quoted by Motoring Australia.“We’re not saying that everyone needs to rush out and buy the latest and greatest but we need people to prioritise safety over leather seats and shiny wheels,” he added.
The cost of the car, however, will not affect the taxpayers in any way as the entire funding is done by Mercedes-Benz for a 12-month trial period. Fryer said that buying the car is a kind of a message to the public so that they buy the safest cars to avoid accidents whenever they plan to invest into car purchasing. “Death and serious injuries on Victorian roads could be reduced by a third overnight if everyone was driving the safest cars they can afford,” News.com.au quoted him as saying.