YOUR STORY: Driver says new tactic to slow motorists is dangerous
The town of Sainte-Adèle is using cut-outs of police officers to slow down drivers, but some say they could cause accidents.
Rob Braide, former general manager of CJAD 800, said he braked heavily and swerved when he rounded a bend on winding Rolland Rd. and mistook a cut-out of an officer holding a radar gun for a hunter aiming at his car. "When you come around a corner and you see a guy in a yellow vest with his arms raised and something pointed toward you, your initial reaction is not 'That's just policeman Joe telling us to slow down.' You think, 'This is a wack job with a gun who's trying to take my head off,'" he said.
Braide said he was driving 50 km/h in the wooded area when he saw the cut-out, but that anyone going faster might get hurt if they slam on the brakes or swerve to avoid the figure. "When you're up close, you can see it's a cut-out of a police officer with a radar gun, but you don't see that right away," he said. Braide said he is concerned that the lifesize silhouette positioned like a shooter is likely to cause accidents, citing older drivers and those who may be more easily startled as the most vulnerable.
Sainte-Adèle's Deputy Director General Simon Filiatreault responded that the city believes the cut-outs are an effective method for slowing motorists, citing other cities, like Ottawa and Coquitlan, that also use the tactic. "Anyone who respects the speed limit is able to see that this is a silhouette. For others, the surprise could not be greater than seeing a real policeman with a radar gun," he wrote in an email.
But Braide said he disagrees and shared that he was not the first to lodge a formal complaint with the city. "With what's going on around the planet these days, it's not unthinkable that you could have someone with a gun standing by the road taking pot shots at people," he said.
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