Police recruit Ariel Atom in clampdown on dangerous motorbike riders

Sadly the vehicle – which looks incredible – won’t actually be used in high-speed pursuits

In the endless arms race between police and rogue drivers, the vehicles keep getting quicker, lighter and more powerful.

At first glance, then, it would seem as though Avon and Somerset Constabulary has just taken the upper hand.

The force’s latest recruit is a brand new custom Ariel Atom 3.5R – which they have affectionately nicknamed the PL1 – that has been brought in to “deal with” the region’s motorcyclists.

Boasting a supercharged 350bhp Honda engine as well as the latest aerodynamic Hella pursuit lights and striking law-enforcement livery, it can go from 0-60mph at a time of 2.5 seconds and beat just about anything in the world on the track.

Sadly, however, that’s the only place the PL1 is going to be used. Rather than getting involved in (very) high-speed chases, the car has been provided by Ariel as part of a safety campaign to get motorcyclists thinking about the way they ride.

Despite only making up 1 per cent of total road traffic, motorcyclists account for a staggering 20 per cent of all road user deaths, said Avon and Somerset Roads Policing Sergeant Andy Parsons.

He said: “Modern motorcycles are capable of extraordinary performance, with supercar levels of acceleration, braking and cornering. Unfortunately with this level of performance comes an increased risk of death or serious injury as a result of inexperience, lack of training and rider error.”

The Atom has the latest aerodynamic Hella pursuit lights and a supercharged 350bhp Honda engine - but will sadly not be used in active service The Atom has the latest aerodynamic Hella pursuit lights and a supercharged 350bhp Honda engine - but will sadly not be used in active service Ariel have joined forces with the police for the Safer Rider campaign, as part of which the PL1 will be making its debut appearance at a motorbike awareness and training day in Somerset on Sunday 8 June.

Simon Saunders, the company’s director, said that they wanted to promote a message of road safety for bike users ahead of the launch of a new Ariel motorcycle.

He said: “Our business is about going fast, very fast, but there is a time and a place. The Atom is designed to be driven to a race track, where you can drive to your limits in safety and in a professional environment designed for the purpose. The road really isn’t the place to explore your or your vehicle’s limits.

Sergeant Andy Parsons (sat in the Atom) said the campaign was to raise awareness about motorbike safety. Avon and Somerset Police's PC Mark Cummings (left) and PC Pete Wilson (right) beside their own bikes Sergeant Andy Parsons (sat in the Atom) said the campaign was to raise awareness about motorbike safety. Avon and Somerset Police's PC Mark Cummings (left) and PC Pete Wilson (right) beside their own bikes While Avon and Somerset’s Atom won’t see active service, this isn’t the first time a police force has made a show of adding a seriously powerful piece of motoring kit to its arsenal.

In April last year officers in Dubai unveiled a kitted-up, specially modified $550,000 (£359,000) Lamborghini Aventador, capable of speeds up to 217mph.

That, too, was essentially for the cameras, and was stationed in tourist areas to show “how classy Dubai is”.

And last month Lamborghini showed they were so happy to be seen as the police favourite that they put a brand new Huracan out on the streets of Rome. Though not quite as flashy as Dubai’s Aventador, it has been equipped with a gun holster and a fridge for life-saving organs, and will actually be patrolling the streets from the end of this month.

Arts and Entertainment
TVSabotage, a major meltdown and, of course, plenty of sauce
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100'Geography can be tough'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Louis van Gaal looks dejected after Manchester United's 4-0 defeat by MK Dons on Tuesday night
sport
News
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Video
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teacher required with Early Years...

C# Developer (C#, ASP.NET Developer, SQL, MVC, WPF, Real-Time F

£40000 - £48000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Devel...

C# Swift Payment Developer (C#, ASP.NET, .NET, MVC, Authorize.N

£45000 - £60000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Swift...

Front-End Developer (JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, C#, GUI)

£55000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End Deve...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?