policew cutoutBrilliant, or just plain old hare-brained? Seems authorities in the Czech Republic have taken to placing life-sized cardboard cut-outs of mini-skirted policewomen alongside roads in busy junctions throughout towns in the country, in an effort to save cash.

According to reports, instead of installing traffic lights, the cut-outs have been placed to er, get the attention of drivers and slow them down, and it seems to be working, according to the authorities. Many drivers have automatically slowed down when they see the cut-outs, though whether they’re braking because of the fear and respect of the law or in appreciation of the outfit is actually open to debate.

Unfortunately, the flip side of it is that the scheme has also been said to be responsible for bumping up accident rates, simply due to male motorists taking their eyes off the road. One driver, who complained to the country’s Interior Ministry after driving his car off the road, said that “the cut-outs are distracting. I mean, mini-skirts? In this weather?”

And, despite the added police presence, theft also seems to be up – a local radio station gave a hat and an anorak to help keep the officer warm, but they were stolen in a day. And there have been reports that some cardboard policewomen have been relieved from duty through dubious means.

So, what do you think? Should we have such cardboard cut-outs here?