No, your eyes are not deceiving you – that really is an Ariel Atom done up as a police car. One of the most extreme high performance vehicles on sale has joined the “Safer Rider” campaign in Avon and Somerset.

A joint campaign involving the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, the Tri Force Specialist Operations Collaboration and Somerset Road Safety, Project Safer Rider is intended to promote safer motorcycling over the coming summer.

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With motorcyclists representing nearly 20% of all road deaths in the UK, despite making up just 1% of overall road traffic, this move can only be a good thing. And since the Atom is one of the few cars available that can keep up with a superbike, it seems like an excellent choice.

The Ariel in question is the very latest Atom 3.5R, which features a 350hp supercharged Honda engine, and can go 0-60mph in just 2.5 seconds.

Dubbed the Atom PL1, amongst the modifications for police duty are a complete Avon and Somerset Constabulary livery, the latest Hella aerodynamic pursuit lights and as much emergency equipment as will fit inside the car’s skeletal frame.

The Atom PL1 will make its debut public appearance at the Safer Rider launch event at the recently revamped Haynes Motor Museum in Somerset on Sunday 8 June 2014.

Admission to the event is free, and in addition to the Ariel visitors will be able to see a number of other police vehicles, as well as learn new motorcycling and first aid skills.

Roads policing sergeant with the Tri Force Specialist Operations Collaboration, Andy Parsons:

“I am really excited that Ariel has joined with us to bring Project Safer Rider to fruition, and I hope that the use of the Ariel PL1 will have a positive impact to promote road safety… and help us reduce road death and serious injury within the motorcycling community.”

According to owner Simon Saunders, Ariel is “just about” to launch an all-new motorcycle of its own. The marque began life as a bicycle manufacturer back in 1870, and had previous success as a motorbike manufacturer up until the late 1960s.

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