Chinese police have come up with a cost-effective way of deterring motorists from speeding. They have started putting cardboard cut-out police vans on the hard shoulder of motorways to fool drivers into slowing down.
The paper police vehicles, which are being used by motorway police in the Ningbo area of the Zhejiang province, include solar panel lights on top to really sell the ruse. They are designed to look as close to actual police vans as possible and have similar physical dimensions.
A number of critics have already picked fault in the idea, claiming that motorists quickly realise the police van is in fact a two-dimensional cut-out. It helps little there are gaps between the wheels and the road below.
“Forces in the UK have tried this on motorway bridges,” Institute of Advanced Motorists director Neil Greig said to the Daily Mail. “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,” he added.
China’s Jiangsu Province has been using the exact same idea with some success.
A number of countries also use cardboard as a deterrent, including the US where cardboard cut-outs of policemen can be seen holding a speed gun.
It’s not clear how often the signs are picked up by university students on drunken nights out.
Source: Daily Mail