Const. Scarecrow coming to Ottawa

OTTAWA – Ottawa police are going to be using new, hi-tech methods in the war against speeders this summer – a scarecrow.

Following a successful pilot project in Coquitlam in 2018 of a life-size, metal cut-out of a police officer, pointing a radar gun, Safer Roads Ottawa and Ottawa Police Service (OPS) have created their own ‘Constable Scarecrow.’

The cut-out is a deterrent measure used to slow motorists down on roadways where speeding is a chronic issue. No charges are laid against motorists.

“The Coquitlam two-month pilot collected speeding data that showed a significant decrease with the presence of the cut-out,” said Coun. Stephen Blais, chair of the city’s Transportation committee. “Making this an affordable deterrent option.”

The cut-out is in the image of traffic officer Const. Luc Mongeon.

Safer Roads Ottawa project staff proposed the signs be placed in two separate locations across the city, the first on Portobello Boulevard and the second on Bridge Street in Manotick. Both of these locations have community safety zones and schools.

Each sign costs approximately $165 and are tamper-resistant and waterproof.

A speed evaluation was conducted at the Portobello location. With 5,009 vehicles going through in 24 hours, the average speed was 57 km/h in a posted 50 km/h zone. The maximum speed captured was 99 km/h.  Compliance with the posted speed limit was 16 per cent.

“Speed limits are set for a reason. Even driving 10 kilometres over the speed limit poses additional dangers to drivers and other road users, particularly pedestrians,” said Const. Mongeon. “We want drivers to make safety their priority when they are behind the wheel.”