British Columbia

Use of Mountie cutouts expanded to help deter dangerous driving habits

Surrey RCMP is the latest detachment to deploy Mountie cutouts in a "flat-out" effort to change dangerous driving habits on some of the cities worst roads and intersections.

Surrey is just 1 of many Lower Mainland cities to start using police decoy deterrent

An RCMP traffic enforcement officer sets up a cutout alongside one of its vehicle cutouts in Surrey, B.C., on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

RCMP in Surrey, B.C., says the detachment is studying how the use of 2-D Mounties will change dangerous driving habits on some of the city's highest-risk roads and intersections.

Cutouts of two-dimensional versions of a frontline officer and marked police vehicle will be set up at roadways around the city where drivers either habitually speed or use "unsafe driving behaviours, " according to a Surrey RCMP statement issued Wednesday.

Const. Richard Wright says officers can't be everywhere at all times, but the 2-D cut-outs can help.

"We won't always be with the cutouts, but a volunteer or other member of the staff will be. The whole point is to increase visibility around the city and to help drivers to make safe driving decisions."

Certain high-risk areas are targeted for the use of the cutouts, and the arsenal of artificial officers will be rotated throughout the city.

Wright says the campaign which launched Oct. 4, is part of a study and has already delivered the desired results.

"Volunteers and the Mounties that have been deployed along with [the decoys] have seen a great decrease in the negative driving behaviours and speed in the areas." 

RCMP traffic enforcement officers unveil their newest cutouts depicting RCMP officers and vehicles in Surrey, British Columbia on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Coquitlam cuts out high-risk behaviours

The City of Coquitlam unveiled its weapon in the fight against speeding in the city mid-September last year. The detachment deployed three realistic, two-dimensional cutouts of one of its officers holding a radar gun.

The trio of "Const. Scarecrows" was placed around the city to remind drivers to slow down — because a real officer with a real ticket book could be anywhere to make speeders pay.

In Surrey's case, the RCMP worked with Vision Zero Surrey and ICBC to develop its initiative. Vision Zero Surrey said the data collected will be used to assess the impact of the ongoing enforcement project.

Coquitlam RCMP's version of its "Const. Scarecrow" — a two-dimensional replica of a real RCMP officer — was posted throughout that city to remind speeders that speed enforcement can be anywhere. (Tristan Le Rudulier/CBC)



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