The Essex police force is to fit its fleet of patrol cars with talking devices that give an audible reminder intended to prevent filling diesel vehicles with petrol.
Essex officers have filled up with the wrong fuel 222 times over the last five years, resulting in a total repair bill of £42,000.
The device is activated by light when the fuel filler cap is opened, and repeats a recorded message stating ‘this is a diesel vehicle’ until turned off.
The number of private owners making blunders at the fuel pump have also increased. Since 1998 the RAC has seen a 385 per cent increase in the number of call-outs occurring as a result of cars being fuelled incorrectly.