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Speed traps, or cops hiding it wait to catch speeding or reckless drivers who pose a threat to others on the road, are nothing new. Even when manpower is lacking too much to have a police officer lying in wait, a conveniently placed police car can even do the trick, making drivers rethink their actions and go easy on the gas. This particular police car, however, deserves a second glance, as it’s even more deceptive than you might think.

The photos of this tricksy patrol car were posted to Twitter by @nimobeemer, who writes: “‘Oops! The cops? I should slow down.’ ‘Huh? Wha?’ ‘What is this…(−_−;)'”

From a distance, this looks exactly like an ordinary Japanese police car, either parked or with the driver waiting to catch an unsuspecting speeder in the act. But as you get closer…

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…Hmm, something seems a little off.

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▼The car is a lie

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We’ve seen two-dimensional cutouts positioned along the roadside in Japan before, but this 2.5-D police car is seriously impressive.

Response from Japanese netizens seems to be mostly positive, with many praising its ingenuity.

“This looks like it would be effective.”

“Yeah, this definitely looks like it would help prevent accidents, lol.”

“This would probably only work the first time you saw it.”

“I’m sure this is really effective, but is it legal?”

“They should mass-produce these, lol.”

“The difference between the side view and front view is amazing lol.”

“This is pure brilliance.”

“I LOLed.”

Judging from the photos, it seems like an area fairly susceptible to accidents – too many people probably taking that curve too fast, and crashing into other cars or swerving off the road into the fence or that property. Having a decoy cop car there probably makes drivers recheck themselves and slow down a bit, helping to avoid accidents.

But what do you think, readers? Is this a smart idea or is the third commenter right in thinking that this deterrent would only work on the first pass? That is, of course, unless they swapped it for a real police car every so often…

Source: Twitter via Hamusoku
Images: Twitter @nimobeemer