Drivers in Tucson, Ariz., may have seen a few extra police officers watching the roads on Thursday. But some of those officers weren’t officers at all, KGUN reported.
They were actually plastic mannequins, dressed to the nines in full police uniform and placed at key intersections to make speeders think twice.
“We noticed a lot less traffic violations dealing with speed,” Sgt. Corie Nolan told the Arizona Daily Star . “So it kind of worked.”
Officers placed two mannequins in four separate locations throughout the day, Nolan told the paper. One was posed holding a fake radar gun over a motorcycle. Another was sitting behind a sign that read “SLOW DOWN.”
They didn’t go unnoticed. Some eagle-eyed drivers snapped photos of the mannequins and posted them to social media.
It’s the first time the police department has used the unusual tactic, ABC 15 reported.
“It’s fun. It’s challenging to try and get people to change their driving behaviors. Because that’s ultimately why we’re out here,” Nolan told Tucson News Now. “There is a sense of happiness that we’re able to lower the driving behaviors and the speeding ... it makes us happy that we’re out there and it worked. Hopefully it’ll work in the future.”
They’re going up again later in the month too, although officers don’t have a plan for exactly where, KGUN reported. Nolan told the Arizona Daily Star drivers honked and waved at the mannequins as they drove past.
But it wasn’t just for show. Nolan told Tucson News Now their officers usually write around 10 tickets per shift for speeding. During the mannequin experiment, that dropped to around three.
Drivers posting on social media were split on the idea, however. Some thought it was a creative and fun way to get people to pay more attention to driving. Others thought it was a waste of time.