Scotland Yard is hoping that advanced technology will reduce its substantial collision repair bill. Nearly 3,000 vehicles in its high speed fleet are to be fitted with collision data recorders (black boxes). Despite the huge cost, senior managers are confident that the measure will quickly pay for itself with an estimated 20% reduction in police collisions and a 40% reduction in the cost of repairs.
Efforts to fit similar equipment in American police vehicles have faced opposition according to at least one industry source. "Officers in the States resent the presence of what they call the Iron Sergeant or the Skunk in the Trunk," said Tony Reynolds of VDO North America. "In spite of the fact that police vehicles [here] are four times more likely to be involved in a collision than the normal motorist, officers don't like to feel they are being watched all the time."