The New York Police Department wants to replace its fleet of three-wheeled scooters with Smart Cars, reports the New York Daily News. The single-passenger Mercedes-Benz vehicles, about the size of a clown car, will be painted like police cruisers and could roll out en masse later this month.
“They're midget cars, I guess you can call them,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said. “We have acquired a number of them to test them out. Actually, in many instances they are more maneuverable than the scooters. They're also cheaper, interesting enough.”
Nine smart cars — at a cost of $119,000 — have been purchased for the pilot program, but only one so far has been put on patrol — in Central Park. As many as 100 more could replace aging scooters, which can cost up to $27,000. Park advocate Geoffrey Croft said the new Smart Cars will be a boon for cops who use scooters in city parks, especially in hot summer months. “It was painful just watching these guys have to work in these conditions for up to five months a year,” he said.