Constable Scarecrow in action, slowing down speeders with two colleagues. Photo: RCMP.

Constable Scarecrow slows down speeders without giving a ticket

Life-size metal poster-board policeman proves his worth in Coquitlam

  • Dec. 4, 2018 5:00 p.m.

The newest member of the Coquitlam RCMP traffic section has only been on the job for two months, but has already made a big impact on speeding drivers, even though he hasn’t handed out one ticket or even received a paycheque.

He’s made such an impact that the Coquitlam RCMP is rewarding Constable Scarecrow with an extended contract for a job well done. The pilot project for the life-sized, metal poster-board of a Traffic Enforcement Officer—complete with laser speed-reader—has exceeded expectations and has slowed down speeding drivers more effectively than originally anticipated.

Const. Scarecrow has been on the job since Sept. 18, 2018. During that time, RCMP officers have been monitoring his impact using the BlackCat speed-monitoring system.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is that even after two weeks in one spot, people were still slowing down in the presence of Const. Scarecrow, says Cpl. Michael McLaughlin with Coquitlam RCMP. The number of drivers going more than 10 km/h over the speed limit was half what it was before Const. Scarecrow was installed.

Const. Scarecrow’s original test area was on Pinetree Way near Burlington Drive.

Week one: No presence of Const. Scarecrow; 5.2 per cent of drivers were more than 10 km/h over the speed limit; 18 speeders were more than 30 km/h over the speed limit.

Week two: Const. Scarecrow introduced; 2.5 per cent of drivers were more than 10 km/h over the speed limit; four speeders were more than 30 km/h over the speed limit.

Week three: Const. Scarecrow in same location; 2.6 per cent of drivers were more than 10 km/h over the speed limit; four speeders were more than 30 km/h over the speed limit.

Now that Const. Scarecrow is proving his mettle, the project has been extended for a year. Early indications are that he will accept his contract extension. Some of his perks include upgraded, heavier-gauge steel and more realistic, safer features, such as reflective tape that matches the tape on his police uniform.

“We’re glad to see Const. Scarecrow get so much respect, but we understand that not everyone is on his side,” says McLaughlin. “We’re assigning more enforcement teams to support Const. Scarecrow. He’s a man of few words, and his more action-oriented colleagues are far more likely to write tickets for people who still choose to speed.”

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