Toronto Police Testing Smart Cars

They look quite cute, zipping around town, as long as you are not on the receiving end of a parking ticket from the driver. Toronto has been testing two smart cars and two Civic Hybrids, and may adopt them on a large scale. They are already common as police cars in London, where the are ideal for patrolling congested streets.

"So far, the response has been very positive," said Mark Pugash, the director of public information for the Toronto Police. "There are jobs we have that officers don't need to go from A to B very quickly."

Although Smart Cars are quite common on the streets of Toronto, it is still unusual to see a big policeman climb out of one. The Star describes one officer's driving position: "At 6-foot-4, things get a bit squishy for parking officer Otimoi Oyemu in his division's new Smart car. His knees protrude eight centimetres above the bottom of the steering wheel. He can easily place one hand on the windshield and the other on the back window. And to reach the police radio, Oyemu has to twist his chest into the passenger seat to get around his own leg."

The current Smart for Two sold in Canada is being replaced with the new gasoline fuelled, larger and more powerful Americanized model, so perhaps next year he will have a bit more room. ::The Star

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