I know what you are thinking. What in the world is he talking about? Every community has its share of motorists disobeying traffic laws. Speeding, running stop signs and disregarding traffic control devices seem to be the norm. In Georgia, new police chiefs are required to attend New Police Chief School. While attending the class, one of our instructors, a seasoned chief, told us that 50% of citizens will think we do too much traffic enforcement and 50% will think we don’t do enough. I can now testify that the statement he made is true!
As a result, every police chief is constantly trying to find better ways to make the roads safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. We use targeted enforcement but when we leave, motorists soon return to their bad habits. We use radar signs but after awhile, they seem to loose their effectiveness. We educate our community, but it just doesn’t seem to make a difference.
One community may have found an answer. Sebastopol Police Chief Jeff Weaver was pitched the idea by a local sculptor who wanted to do something to help make his community safer. The Slow Down Cat was born!
The Slow Down Cat has been deployed across the city on numerous occasions with traffic-calming success. In addition, an unexpected side benefit of the big cat was that it pulls neighbors and neighborhoods together around it. Check out the full story here.
There is even a suggestion by some people in the town that they need a battalion of cats to deploy across the city. Who knows, maybe one day the Slow Down Cat will be a fixture in communities all across the country.
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