Van spotted on Aussie road sparks debate: ‘How is this legal?’
A company vehicle in Victoria has attracted attention on the roads with questions raised about its legality, but in a shock to locals it has been given the seal of approval by Melbourne law enforcement.
Painted white, with a blue-and-white checkered pattern running down its sides, many locals in Williamstown were startled into mistaking the van, which belongs to a cleaning company, for a police vehicle.
“Surely it can’t be legal, right?” someone wrote online. “How is this tradition vehicle not impersonating a police vehicle?”
The vehicle, which belongs to JPT Services, has been spotted regularly in Williamstown, according to a Reddit post. Source: Reddit/mrarbitersir
Double-take gives residents ‘mini heart attacks’
Other users on Reddit were quick to admit that they fell for the same misconception.
“I passed [this van] a few times on the freeway and had a mini heart attack each time,” said one person. “Yip [I’ve] saw [it] around Willy a lot,” another commented. “Attracts attention, but not for the right reasons. It should have been charged and changed a long time ago.”
“I saw this van at the beach recently and thought the same thing,” someone else added. “Interestingly, I saw an actual police car drive past in the parking lot. They didn’t seem to care about it, but maybe they were busy with something more important.”
But others felt the slap was a good move if it encouraged people to be safer on the roads.
“If it makes even one muppet stop speeding and actually keep left unless passing, good,” one person wrote. “Wonderful for exposure/advertising [but] also great for slowing down other cars,” said another. “Don’t know if it’s legal or not, but it sure gets a lot of attention when on the road!”
Jason Thurley, the owner of JPT Services, said he has received many calls from customers who have spotted his van. Source: JPT Services
Vehicle that does not break laws
Williamstown police confirmed to Yahoo News Australia on Tuesday afternoon that they had received reports of the vehicle but that it was “fully compliant” and had not breached the Victorian Police Act, adding that its familiar design was “a good deterrent”. .
The owner of JPT Services, a commercial cleaning business in Williamstown, said it was certainly not his intention to reduce crime, “but if it happens, I think it’s positive”.
Jason Thurley, who was in the Victorian police force from 2010 to 2014, said he only wanted to help his company “stand out” when he chose the blue and white design.
“I thought to myself, what attracts people’s attention?” he told Yahoo News Australia.
“And I thought, no matter where you are, what you’re doing, you’re always going to notice a police-type vehicle driving by. Like you, you can have the most interesting conversation with the most beautiful person in the world and you will always see something out of the corner of your eye that will catch your attention.”
He added that since he launched his new-look van a year ago, he has received many calls from locals who have noticed him.
“So it really paid for itself quite a few times over to tell you the truth,” he said. “And if I can kill two birds with one stone and get some business out of it, and slow people down at the same time, well, that’s even better.”
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