In the villages, farmers use scarecrows to scare away birds.
In Bengaluru city now, the police will use “scare-violators”, mannequins dressed as traffic police.
The innovative initiative, inspired by the farmers, has already got 200 life-size mannequins at troublesome junctions of Bengaluru in a bid to deter the traffic offender.
It is hoped that mannequins will get motorists to follow traffic rules and observe lane discipline in a city, known for its traffic chaos and lock-jams, aggravated by unruly drivers.
The mannequins have been fitted with standard police uniforms, reflector jackets, hats, boots, masks and even sunglasses, in an attempt to trick motorists into believing that it is a real cop.
Chief of Traffic, Ravi Kanthe Gowda, says, “There are lots of people who commit traffic offences when there are no police around to catch them. We put these up so that the people know there is police presence around.”
Bengaluru, just like other Indian cities, record large number of traffic violations, especially in the absence of the traffic police. Signal jumps, cell-phone usage, violation of lane driving and not wearing helmets are rampant.
The police also changes the location of the mannequins every day, so that repeat offenders can be cautioned and they can use the workforce in spots that really need our attention.
In 2013, the Bengaluru Traffic Police had installed cardboard cutouts at busy junctions of the city. The move was met with a lot of ridicule at the time, but some road users said it had a positive effect on road traffic behaviour as they were actually tricked into thinking it was a real cop.