Senate committee finds effort to improve safety of Crown Vics should continue

A state Senate committee released its findings Monday on the safety of Ford Crown Victorias.

Safety of Crown Victoria police cruisers made headlines in Westchester after State Trooper Robert Ambrose was killed last December. Ambrose was in his police cruiser when he was struck from behind by another car. The impact caused his Crown Vic to burst into flames.

The state Senate committee, which included Senator Nick Spano (R-Yonkers), conducted its own investigation and concluded that Ford should continue to improve the vehicle's fuel system. Investigators found that the car's gas tank has a tendency to explode if rear-ended.

Ford says a new fire suppression system will be available on police models of the Crown Victoria in 2005. While that is one solution, Senator Spano says he wants to pass several bills in the Legislature that would make it safer for state troopers to pull over in their patrol cars. One suggestion is to change rear-facing police lights from red to blue when the car is stopped.

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