Coquitlam's 'Constable Scarecrow' proves his mettle during pilot project
The Coquitlam RCMP's hardest-working traffic enforcement officer has had his contract extended after an impressive first few months on the job.
"Constable Scarecrow" is a life-sized, metal cutout of a police officer pointing a radar gun that was strategically placed on roads throughout Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam back in mid-September in a bid to deter drivers from going too fast.
"Perhaps the biggest surprise so far is that even after two weeks in one spot, people were still slowing down in the presence of Constable Scarecrow," Cpl. Michael McLaughlin said in a statement.
Constable Scarecrow's original test area was on Pinetree Way near Burlington Drive in Coquitlam.
Mounties first gathered data for a week before the cutout was installed. During that period, 5.2 per cent of drivers were found to be going more than 10 km/h over the speed limit and 18 speeders were observed doing more than 30 km/h over the limit.
During the week after Constable Scarecrow was introduced to the intersection, only 2.5 per cent of drivers were found the be more that 10 km/h over the limit and just four people broke the speed limit by 30km/h or more.
Those numbers remained steady the week after as well.
Given the pilot project's success, Constable Scarecrow's contract has been extended for a year.
"We’re glad to see Constable Scarecrow get so much respect, but we understand that not everyone is on his side," McLaughlin said. "We’re assigning more enforcement teams to support Constable 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."