An 'invisible' patrol cars waits at a speed trap by the side of the road in Mont Blanc. (Photo: Reseau Mont Blanc)
An ‘invisible’ patrol cars waits at a speed trap by the side of the road in Mont Blanc. (Photo: Reseau Mont Blanc)

In a world that is becoming increasingly hi-tech, does it surprise anyone that police authorities are testing a new cloaking device that virtually renders a patrol car invisible?

“It’s quite the breakthrough,” Constable Joe LeSnoop explained enthusiastically to community newspaper Réseau Mont Blanc in the tiny constabulary of Mont Blanc in the Laurentians of Quebec. “It’s the perfect speed trap, day or night.”

Perfect, he said, because sharp-eyed drivers often spot traditional speed traps. But there is no chance of that with the invisible car.

The paper says the technology was developed by a local citizen who offered it to the precinct to test before going public with his invention. The force is testing the device in a low-traffic area for now before trying it out on major arteries.

But — as you might imagine — not everybody is happy about the new technology, the paper reports.

“It’s not fair at all,” one middle-aged driver, who had just been ticketed by LeSnoop, told the newspaper. He asked to remain anonymous. “The patrol car appeared out of thin air, with lights flashing and siren wailing. It scared the crap out of me. I thought I was hallucinating, having an acid flashback or something. Not that I do that sort of stuff anymore,” he added quickly.

Constable LeSnoop had little sympathy for him. “He shouldn’t have been speeding. Obey the speed limits and you have nothing to worry about.”

The driver disagreed, pointing out that there could be a safety hazard. “You can’t go parking invisible cars on the road!” he said incredulously. “People are sure to smash into them!”

Constable LeSnoop nodded his head. “Yes, that is one of the things we have to work out. We have to be sure we’re parked in a spot where nobody can possibly bang into us. Today, I think I am parked far enough over, at the foot of someone’s driveway. And we made sure the homeowner was aware we were using his driveway.”

But he agreed that if, say, the driver of the car had turned in at the driveway, he would have got a much nastier surprise than a speeding ticket.

“That’s why we’re testing it out in remote areas like this first. There’s not much traffic here, less chance of a collision.

And, he added: “It also gives us a chance to nab the speeders in places like this. It’s for their own safety — you never know when a deer or a moose could jump out into the road. People have to drive cautiously in this neck of the woods.”

There is another bug to work out before the device can be widely used, one that will have drivers breathing a sigh of relief, if only temporarily.

Explained Constable LeSnoop: “We’re not sure why, but the cloaking device only works on one day of the year . . . April 1.”

Winks . . .