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Friday, June 06, 2008

Vancouver police use cardboard cut-outs in attempt to scare speedy drivers

VANCOUVER - Meet the Vancouver Police Department's newest recruit: Cardboard Cop.

The force has started setting up cardboard cut-outs of police officers holding radar guns in an area troubled by excessive speeding and accidents. Sometimes there is a real officer behind the cut-outs, while other times there isn't - but drivers don't know as they speed by.

It's part of a pilot program - dubbed Operation Silhouette - that will last six months, with the cut-outs set up at various locations along Knight Street in Vancouver.

Municipal staff recently conducted a study on traffic flow and speed on Knight Street, and they will repeat the study at the end of the year to see whether the cut-outs have affected driving habits.

Similar programs have been tried in the U.K. and New Zealand.

Sgt. Ralph Pauw says Vancouver had 25 traffic fatalities last year, and the police are willing to try anything that might help reduce that number.

"It is a serious issue and we're just trying to develop new initiatives, new strategies, try new things to see if they work," Pauw says.

© The Canadian Press, 2008



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