Calgary

'Const. Scarecrow:' Lloydminster orders cardboard traffic cops to scare speeders

The City of Lloydminster, which straddles the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan, has ordered $500 cardboard traffic cop decoys to remind drivers to slow down.

Decoy officers resulted in 50% speed reduction in Coquitlam, B.C.

Coquitlam RCMP Const. Matt Erickson, left, is shown here with his cardboard doppelganger. The City of Lloydminster is following in the B.C. city's footsteps and ordering its own cutout officers. (CBC)

They can't pull you over, but they may give speeding drivers a fright.

The City of Lloydminster, which straddles the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan, has ordered $500 cardboard traffic cop decoys to remind drivers to slow down.

The cardboard cutouts, which depict an officer holding a radar gun, were tested in a Coquitlam, B.C., pilot project to great success. Coquitlam said the decoys resulted in a 50 per cent reduction in speeding drivers, but acknowledged that number may drop as drivers get used to the initiative.

"They shared their data with us and we think it's something we can do here and hopefully we'll see the same results," said Glenn Alford, Lloydminster's manager of public safety.

"The goal is to just raise awareness and make people think about it when they're going through our city."

In Coquitlam, the cardboard officers are sometimes deployed alongside their living and breathing counterparts — to surprise offenders with a warning or ticket.

That's something Alford said Lloydminster may duplicate.

"We tend to mimic what they've been doing because of the success they've had."

He said the city hopes the cutouts will be a cost-effective way to make drivers more aware of their speed.

The cutouts — dubbed "Const. Scarecrow" — will initially be deployed in playgrounds and school zones, but the city will also look at placing them anywhere speeding is an issue.

Calgary police say they don't currently have plans to deploy decoy officers. 

With files from CBC Calgary News at 6

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