The law enforcement version of scarecrows will soon be popping up around B.C. to startle you out of speeding. The Mountie cardboard cut-outs will be hitting the streets of Surrey, and they'll be fully-equipped with 2D cop cars, as well.
What you can expect to see is a remarkably realistic police officer with a speed radar either standing solo or standing next to their equally realistic cut-out car. This may sound like an outlandish idea or maybe even an April Fools' prank, but it's happening and these fake cops will be freaking you out before you know it.
The reason behind what the Surrey RCMP are calling the "Mountie Cut-Outs" is to target dangerous driving in the city, according to a press release sent to Narcity.
Surrey RCMP has worked closely with Vision Zero Surrey and ICBC to determine which areas of the city are especially vulnerable to high-risk driving behaviours “such as speeding, distracted driving and impaired driving,” said Sergeant Ian MacLellan, Surrey RCMP’s Acting Traffic Services Commander in the release. These behaviours “contribute to approximately two-thirds of serious and fatal collisions,” MacLellan continued.
Though the reasoning behind the cut-outs makes sense, the cut-outs themselves have already got us spooked and we haven't even seen them in real life yet.
As it turns out, Surrey is not the first B.C. city to employ fake cops to scare drivers out of unlawful behaviour on the road. Coquitlam RCMP also turned to cut-outs for the same reason. Beyond B.C., an Albertan city has adopted the unorthodox tactic as well.
If you're wondering what impact these cut-outs can actually have, it's a little more than just giving you a fright as you drive past. "These may be just two-dimensional versions of our frontline members and marked police vehicles, but we are warning drivers that our "Mountie Cut-Outs" may just have a real-life partner nearby," said Sergeant Ian MacLellan in the release.
In the past, B.C. police officers have been spotted dressed as civilians to catch people driving distracted. The cut-out tactic is on the opposite end of the spectrum as it depicts wide-spread police presence.
Though the fake cars can't chase you and the fake cops can't issue tickets, they are in areas that are known to be high-risk, so real police can be assumed to be nearby.
At the end of the day, these 2D cops are meant to remind you to drive on your best behaviour. We don't know about you, but we could use a little reminder sometimes.