Alberta city deploys life-sized police cutouts to discourage speeding

The City of Lloydminster, Alta., has adopted a creative measure it hopes will deter drivers from pushing too hard on the gas pedal. 

Life-sized metal cutouts of uniformed RCMP officers have been placed in locations next to city roads to give off the impression police are on the look out for speed demons. 

The “scarecrow” program began earlier this month through a partnership with the city’s RCMP branch. The law enforcement tool originated in Coquitlam, B.C., where it proved to be successful since it was introduced in 2018. 

Less than six months after the scarecrows were implemented, Coquitlam RCMP reported the number of drivers exceeding the speed limit by 10 km/h was reduced by approximately 50 per cent. 

Glenn Alford, a senior manager of public safety with the city, said he expects the program will have positive results in Lloydminster. 

“The new recruits aren’t much for conversation, but they have proven highly effective in their duties with other municipalities,” Alford said in a press release. “The scarecrow initiative will help our local RCMP have an enhanced presence in the community and encourage responsible driving behaviour for a fraction of what it would cost to have a police officer assigned to monitor the site. 

Each cutout costs approximately $325 to produce.