Most Cape Town motorists slow down when they see a traffic officer with a speed camera on the side of the road, but they may be surprised to find that the official with the steely-eyed gaze is actually a metal cut-out.
Several city residents were surprised this week by a photo taken by a passenger of the mock officer on Frans Conradie Drive, which was shared on social media. Laughing at how they had been tricked, a few people shared that they had driven past the cut-out earlier and had slowed down because they thought the officer was real.
Similar cut-outs were reportedly spotted under the R300 bridge and in Fish Hoek. One person said the traffic department should get 10 points for creativity, while another thought the shoulder flashes were lifelike and even fluttered a bit in the wind. Some were a bit cheeky.
There were jokes about paying traffic fines with play money and laughing at the prospect of a strong wind blowing the cut-out over.
City Traffic Services spokesperson Richard Coleman said the department had been using these steel cut-outs since September 2017.
“Thus far we have only received positive feedback,” he said. “This City initiative aims to make motorists aware of the speed they are driving. Motorists would usually slow down if they are speeding and see a traffic official.”
Wheels24 reported that the Bakwena N1/N4 road agency had used a cardboard cut-out of an official vehicle as part of a road safety initiative to curb speeding during the Easter period.