Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cop "Cut-Out" Used To Slow Traffic In Smyrna

The above photo is a fake cop used in the UK.

I guess this is what you do when you don't have enough money in the budget to hire actual policemen.

AP News
Hoping to deter speeders, a Tennessee town uses a lifelike body double to remind drivers that the police are watching.

A full-size corrugated plastic cutout of a real Smyrna police officer is pretty convincing to most drivers when they catch a glimpse of him pointing his radar gun on the side of a busy street.

Who better to pose for the picture than Sgt. Andy Miller, the officer who heads up the city's traffic enforcement division?

"It's meant to get people to think about it and slow down. It's actually worked," said Miller.

The speed limit on pedestrian-heavy Front Street is 15 mph, but some drivers speed between 25 and 60, Miller said.

"We come over here on a regular basis and run radar, but we can't be everywhere all the time," Miller said. "With this, we can be."

The idea for the posed patrolman came from Jim Gammon, whose sign company sits on busy Front Street. He suggested it as a way to slow drivers and then printed up the two-dimensional police officer. After less than a month on the street, the cutout is working so well the city has asked Gammon to make another.

"Any time they'll see it, (motorists) immediately slow down," Gammon said. "The trick is to keep them guessing."

Sometimes Miller even stands behind his plastic twin and catches speeding drivers who apparently aren't fooled by the cutout.

Smyrna resident Norma Stuteville said seeing "the little cardboard cop" made her pump her brakes.

"He kind of caught us by surprise," she laughed. "It definitely caught our eye."
Funny thing about this is that if the police were actually watching - they wouldn't need to put up a fake cut-out of one watching you - would they?

Maybe this would work on the U.S.-Mexican border too? Why have the cost of putting up a fence when we could line the border with "cut-ups" of U.S. border patrol agents and vicious looking dogs?

Heck we could even throw up a couple of Vicente Fox or George Bush ones too, and maybe throw in a few fake "Elvises" for fun.

Check here for more
also here too.


Dana said...

An officer used to live in our little town on a highway. The speed limit is 35 through here, but most travel at 55. He parked his patrol car up at the top of the hill when he was home and it slowed traffic considerably.

I'd be happy with one of their rejected patrol cars set up like a speed trap along our road. : )

Judy Aron said...

I have heard of that too.. putting a patrol car in sight with a policeman mannequin sitting in the driver seat.

I also understand that in some places it is illegal to warn other drivers (usually by flashing headlights) that they are approaching a speed trap.

Eric said...

That thing is just asking for some donut "treatment".

The Knoxville PD used to park a car at an overpass on I-640 that mysteriously would end up with a Dunkin' Donuts box on top of it.

Don Paquin said...

I love your blog, a very nice job. The idea of a cut out Cop is so cool. Your layout is very nice.