Six Toyota Prius cars, each in a different livery, were put on display in Independence Square on March 19. All are marked in blue and yellow, but some markings are in bands, while others are checkerboard-like, similar to British police vehicles. Every car has a transparent ballot box nearby with paper slips on top of it. People approach the vehicle they like most and put a slip into the box, thus voting for this or that livery. There were a dozen ballots at least in every box mere hours after the event started.
The livery design No. 2 is the people’s favorite. It features a thick blue band with yellow rim on the car’s door, a diagonal blue band and white-lettered inscription “Police.” Marketing major Artem Malkevych had just voted for that option before we talked to him. “I like this livery because it is more or less modest. The checkerboard livery is less than optimal, for it looks like a taxi,” Malkevych shared his thoughts. “It is important that any changes, including those of the police vehicles’ livery, are encouraging. New cars are part of a new life.” The student was taken aback a little by the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA)’s logo on the cars. Malkevych said that it would be great to not print it at all if possible. The lad saw the logo as associated with the “old” corrupt police.
The street vote is important, but it will not be binding when choosing markings for patrol cars. Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov posted on Facebook: “The vote is advisory only, and the results will not be binding because, apart from the aesthetic aspect, there are rules and regulations to be followed. However, the MIA experts will necessarily take into account the results of the vote as one of the most important factors to influence their choice.” According to Avakov, the patrol car must be functional and “friendly-looking.” The car should be well-marked to be visible from afar in the dark and in bad weather, and it should also elicit positive associations.
The Kyiv patrol police car livery vote will continue until March 26 in Independence Square, to be held daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. One can choose the best livery at the MIA’s website as well.