Why Police Cars Are Often Black and White

Why Police Cars Are Often Black and White


When you hear a police siren blaring around the corner, you’re already expecting to see a sedan painted in certain colors rushing past you. But have you ever wondered why exactly police cars are painted in colors they use? In fact, there are plenty of reasons for that in any given country.

Let’s take the USA and Canada for example. When first North American police cars appeared in the early 1900s, pretty much all automobiles were painted black, and law enforcers weren’t any exception. Later, most authorities across the US thought it prudent to make police cars easily recognizable to the public. And so they worked out a color palette that would be both symbolic and affordable for the budget.

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TIMESTAMPS:
Police of the USA and Canada 🚔 0:21
The British traffic police car (aka “jam sandwich”) 2:09
What the Battenburg markings are 2:37
The Czech Republic 4:14
Dubai (the most visible police cars!) 5:07
More subtle differences in police cars from regular ones 5:46
Vehicles designed for pursuit 6:24
👉 The only real advantage of the police cars 👈 7:28

#police #cars #brightside

Preview photo credit:
USA. FLORIDA. MIAMI BEACH. APRIL – 14, 2017: POLICE CAR: By SergeevDen/Shutterstock.com,
Animation is created by Bright Side.

SUMMARY:
– A monochrome design proved to be very efficient: people would instantly recognize a police car as such, and it was also not hard to give it another paint job in case it was given to a detective or an undercover officer.
– With the appearance of vinyl decals, however, it became increasingly easy to paint a car in whatever colors you wanted.
– Originally, most police cars in Europe and the UK were white with distinct markings on them in either black, blue, or red.
– But then, in the 1990s, the revolution came: the Battenburg markings. Developed in the UK, this distinct pattern became a standard for the British, Australian, and many of the European police cars.
– The markings look like alternating squares of two different colors — kinda like a chess board.
– The reason for such a radical redesign is simple enough: making the emergency services highly visible.
– Only the emergency services are allowed to bear them, which makes these vehicles immediately recognizable even in the heavy traffic.
– In the Czech Republic, for example, most police vehicles have striped decals running along the bottom of the side of the car.
– When light-reflecting stripes are put lower on the body of a car, they always get enough light to be seen for what they are.
– But probably the most visible police cars ever reside in Dubai. The police force in that wealthy city has perhaps the most expensive set of vehicles in the world.
– Dubai creates a picture of the richest and most luxurious city in the world, and having their police officers drive around in Lamborghinis and Ferraris does a lot to add to this image.
– Police vehicles are generally more powerful than those available to the public. All around the world, governments place special orders for their police cars.
– There’s one thing the police have that makes almost every car chase a success: communication. And that’s the only real advantage of the police cars.

Music by Epidemic Sound

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100 Comments on "Why Police Cars Are Often Black and White"


  1. I'm be curious to fact check this video with my PO tomorrow. I said it gives me a head start, but he says cuz fashion. 🤣 j/k

    Reply

  2. me: i got rainbow colors and pink wich one would you pick?

    cop: mmm… i would like a rainbow car ok women
    everybody: ha ha ha rainbow police car😅
    (police put tjem to jail

    Reply

  3. I live in Acworth Georgia and are cop cars are blacked out with gold lettering this is also a brand new design at night it's really hard to tell if it's a cop or not

    Reply

  4. BRIGHT SIDE, ask the most important question! why is there no education class in schools to teach children how to avoid getting shot and killed by a cop. think about it for a moment, cops are trained to take any action as lethal while most mistakes are made innocently. take philip brailsford, for example. he killed a guy that reached down to pull his pants up, but philips VICTIM wouldnt have made that "mistake" if he knew exactly what was going on. it just makes sense to me to teach everyone, not just lawn enforcement, how to deal with these situations.

    Reply

  5. The police cars in my town are either black, white, blue or silver. They were black and white, blue and white or just white or blue before 2003, but the solid color was being used even as early as 2001. The black/white and blue/white were slowly phased out from 2004-2010. Reflective markings became the norm in the mid-2000s.

    Reply

  6. Our cops recently went back to black and white, they said they found it was still the most recognizable pattern to being a cop car. They have other colors for certain cars but the routine patrol cars are back to black and white, I have to admit I like it, they are easy to spot.

    Reply

  7. Can you also explain why American police cars has a red and blue light, instead two red or blue?

    Reply

  8. Black n white ..color of life ..same as lawyer suit coat..black n white..
    > there's a white side human(good peoples)..n black side human..(bad peoples)

    Reply

  9. I live from the Philippines but I’m from Dubai for my vacation and I stay there for 3 years because I don’t have enough money for the airport.

    Reply

  10. The photo you used for the police car in Australia is WRONG you used an SES vehicle which is not a police car

    Reply

  11. Hi from the Czech Republic, you've used wrong police car tho xd it's not police but just city guards just to say, real police car looks different 🙂

    Reply

  12. Police cars are Balck and white bcoz they like old movies those were black and white ,who else like old movies hit a like

    Reply

  13. "Police car with its rotating lights on…"? Even now? Since when do they still have those? Didn't strobes replace those long ago?

    Reply

  14. I want to be an officer since I was 7, love how they roam around saving lives. Ur vids help me understand he to be a true officer

    Reply

  15. Bright side do you know that not only Americans watch your videos lots of other country that watch your videos.

    Tell about "India" that is a interesting country. The biggest democracy in the world.
    Anyone wants to know about India
    Vote
    👇 Here
    👇

    Reply

  16. Black and White police car really makes me scare rather than pinky or other bright colour

    Reply

  17. Did you know that sometimes you can buy old police cars??
    Not as interesting though, because the take off all the equipment, such as the lights and radio, and take off the stickers.

    Reply

  18. Fraternal order of law-enforcement. It’s a secret Society of police in order. Cities that are members of the law-enforcement society are allowed to paint the car is black and white. No different than bloods with red crypts with blue and hells angels red and white. It’s a criminal organization.

    Reply

  19. TIMESTAMPS:

    Police of the USA and Canada 🚔 0:21

    The British traffic police car (aka “jam sandwich”) 2:09

    What the Battenburg markings are 2:37

    The Czech Republic 4:14

    Dubai (the most visible police cars!) 5:07

    More subtle differences in police cars from regular ones 5:46

    Vehicles designed for pursuit 6:24

    👉 The only real advantage of the police cars 👈 7:28

    Reply

  20. New video: why are police cars painted common colors, yet have 9 million lights on them?

    Answer: So they can ticket you for moving violations because you didn't see them. After all, bankrupt states need revenue to pay for these new expensive police cars.

    The 9 million lights are to warn other drivers and embarrass the one being pulled over.

    Reply

  21. As a former officer the Federal Govt gave police dept's federal grant money to paint their cars black and white. Most dept's now stay with B/W paint scheme same reason for red(emergency) blue(police) lights. All police cars today have same exact engine specs as a taxi, just more electrical power to run lights,siren,strobes,computer,radios,etc.

    Reply

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