Traffic police in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, China have employed cardboard cutouts of squad cars in order to put off any would-be speeders.

The convincing 3D carboard replicas sit at the side of the road in known speeding hotspots and attempt to deter motorists from breaking the speed limit. They even incorporate solar-powered flashing roof lights for extra realism.

Police in Bangalore, India who used cardboard cutouts of traffic officers on busy routes to curb reckless driving claimed the method worked and the number of accidents went down when the paper police were installed.

“Drivers in Indian cities violate traffic rules when there are no cops around — they jump traffic lights and go the wrong way on one-way streets,” Bangalore police commissioner M.A. Saleem told AFP at the time.

The results of the fake Chinese squad cars remain to be seen but Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, insists that wooden police cars are ineffectual.

He told MailOnline: “Forces in the UK have tried this on motorway bridges. But basically it's a waste of time. Once one person has gone past it, everyone realises it's a joke, so any effect tails off very quickly.

“Drivers are very savvy. They can spot these things a mile off. There might be an effect for an hour or two, but it soon wears off. The impact is transitory.

“It's like these signs that light up to tell motorists to slow down. These things don't really work.

“And the carboard cutouts could be distracting. If you put them in the wrong place you could be causing more problems than you're solving.”

What do you think of the idea? Should we give it a go in the UK? Let us know in the comments section below

Picture from Flickr/ (aka Brent)

Leon Poultney


November 1, 2013

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