Cardboard Police Officers Trick Bangalore Drivers Into Obeying Traffic Rules

Police in India's high-tech city rolled out cardboard cutouts on major roads to curb reckless driving

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Manjunath Kiran / AFP / Getty Images

Motorists and pedestrians pass a cardboard policeman in busy Bangalore, India

Police in Bangalore, India’s high-tech city, are using cardboard cutouts to scare drivers into behaving themselves, AFP reports.

So far, three life-size, khaki-clad fake police officers have been installed on major roads around India’s technology-manufacturing heartland. And the scheme has been so successful that another 10 will soon be rolled out across this city of 8.5 million people.

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“Drivers in Indian cities violate traffic rules when there are no cops around — they jump traffic lights and go the wrong way on one-way streets,” Bangalore police commissioner M.A. Saleem told AFP.

Road fatalities have risen sharply in India recently despite a low rate of car ownership. More than 60,000 traffic violations were reported in Bangalore during 2012 with at least two road-related deaths every day, according to the International Business Times. These accidents have been blamed on slack law enforcement, untrained drivers and poorly maintained roads.

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“It’s good. From a distance it looks like a real cop,” a local driver told Indian news channel NDTV. “Two or three times we thought it was a real policeman standing there, and we slowed down,” agreed another passing motorist.

Similar measures have frequently been deployed around the world including in North America, the U.K. and Thailand, although this is apparently the first time such an idea has been used in India. But it has not all been plain sailing — Saleem now intends to remove the cutouts at night after one was stolen last week.

Not everyone is convinced by the scheme, however. “All these things won’t work. What is needed is the presence of real constables. The government should recruit more policemen,” one police officer manning a busy junction told the BBC. “Having dummies is a dumb idea. Do you think we can be fooled?” added a college student.

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mediachannels
mediachannels

Motorists and pedestrians pass a cardboard policeman in busy Bangalore, India. Police in Bangalore, India’s high-tech city, are using cardboard cutouts to scare drivers into behaving themselves. 

So far, three life-size, khaki-clad fake police officers manufactured by Vaspar Eco Solutions Pvt. Ltd. have been installed on major roads around India’s technology-manufacturing heartland. And the scheme has been so successful that another 15 for Cubbon Park Traffic Police Station will soon be rolled out across this city of 8.5 million people.

“Drivers in Indian cities violate traffic rules when there are no cops around — they jump traffic lights and go the wrong way on one-way streets,” Bangalore Additional Police Commissioner for Traffic Dr. M.A. Saleem told AFP.

Road fatalities have risen sharply in India recently despite a low rate of car ownership. More than 60,000 traffic violations were reported in Bangalore during 2012 with at least two road-related deaths every day, according to the International Business Times. These accidents have been blamed on slack law enforcement, untrained drivers and poorly maintained roads.

“It’s good. From a distance it looks like a real cop,” a local driver told Indian news channel NDTV. “Two or three times we thought it was a real policeman standing there, and we slowed down,” agreed another passing motorist.

This is apparently the first time such an idea has been used in India and Cubbon Park Police Station is placed an order with the Manufacturor for 15 no.s. 

Though not everyone is convinced by the scheme, and a college student added “Having dummies is a dumb idea. Do you think we can be fooled?”. But media interviews across and feedback from Bangalore Traffic Police mentioned 20% of of traffic law violations have come down.

PhilSmith
PhilSmith like.author.displayName 1 Like

Use these for United States congressional members, they will be more effective.

PhilSmith
PhilSmith

Are the people whose photos are being used, getting residuals?

gana.naik
gana.naik like.author.displayName 1 Like

Creative people may plant card board thiefs next to cardboard cops... Or how about a card board silk smitha next to cop.... I thought it may be effective to put one camera on top of the cop to capture offenders pics, but it being my country India - people may steal the cameras hahaha