A PIONEERING device, which informs police officers when they are accelerating too quickly or braking to hard, could save Northamptonshire Police £180,000 a year in fuel.
The force claims the new piece of technology is already cutting fuel consumption by almost 20 per cent.
The state-of-the-art device, which has been developed by technology experts at Wootton Hall, has been fitted to 270 police vehicle across the county.
The ‘black box’ records how the vehicle is being driven and displays a red, amber or green light on the police car’s dashboard, depending on how the driver is treating the car.
If the vehicle is being over-revved, cornered at too high a speed, or being driven too quickly, then first an amber, then a red light will be displayed.
The data is also logged for police bosses to analyse.
The lights are automatically switched off on 999 ‘blue light’ calls.
Detectives said the new gadget, which could be rolled out across the country, cost around £350,000 to develop over the last 18 months, but would have already saved enough cash in fuel costs to pay for itself within two years.
The device should also mean less tyre wear on vehicles and will save money in maintenance.
Bob Southgate, police performance and improvement manager, said: “We’ve had interest from the Home Office and more than 30 other forces. Everybody is in the same position financially where they need to be making savings and this is certainly an easy gain.”
Mr Southgate claimed the gadget had also allowed senior officers to analyse vehicle usage and would be able to record key data for any accidents involving police vehicles.
He added: “This is great for the force because we have led it nationally from the start and it’s clear from the interest we’ve generated that people are really positive about it.”