Cops Are Now Using Cardboard Cut-Outs To Slow Speedsters
If you have been travelling down a national highway, you may have spotted a cardboard cut-out of a cop car. This is what they are for!
Published: Wednesday, April 12th 2017
As part of the Easter campaign to reduce the number of deaths on our roads, cardboard cutouts were stationed to try and slow speeding motorists. The idea is to prop up the fake cop cars in an attempt to fool motorists into thinking that they are about to be trapped. It is an initiative that has been rolled out by the Tshwane Metro Police Department on the N1 between Pretoria and Bela Bela. Other routes include the N4 toll route highway and the initiative might spread country wide.
Curbing Easter Fatalities
Last year, the Easter Break claimed almost 200 lives with 71% of them occurring in the North West. This stretch of road, in particular, is an accident hot-spot.
"This is one of the things they have done in Australia, in the UK, and in the US. To put up cut-outs of police vehicles that, from a distance, look like the real thing and, when you get close up, you realise that you have actually been deceived." said by 'Liam Clarke, Operations Manager at Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concession'
The campaign is aimed at altering driver behaviour by making them aware of the speeds that they are traveling at. Most people are unaware that they are speeding, until they notice a camera or an official vehicle. It is only then that they reduce speed. Reckless driving is one of the highest causes of accidents in South Africa, as well as the world.
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Cut-Outs Around the World
The initiative has been something that has been rolled out internationally. China, Australia, as well as the UK, have used fake authority as a scare tactic. In 2009, the UK saw the roll out of 80 cardboard constables around the country. More than £20,000 was spent on the flat-pack bobbies. The West-Midlands, in particular, saw 80 fake constables deployed around the county.
In 2013, China took cue from the UK’s roll-out of cop cars and installed their own, near bridges and on notoriously dangerous highways. The cars came standard with solar paneled lights to give the extra effect of realism.
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There has been a positive response to the campaign thus far. Many people have commented that it made them brake, and realise that they had been speeding. It has turned out to be a cheap and effective way of simply making people aware of their traveling speed.
Because so many cop cars are out of action, due to lack of maintenance, this seems to be a good alternative to visible traffic management. Arrive Alive has given the nod to the initiative.
Read More about cop cars being out of action below.
“On the Arrive Alive website, we plead for visible and effective traffic enforcement. Even though this may not be what we have referred to, it may be a worthwhile initiative to remind road users to Obey the Rules of the Road All of the Time, whether there is actual enforcement or just a reminder of such possible enforcement,” it said.