But the village of Baden in Brittany has been widely mocked for the rather amateur artistry of its faux gendarme (fake police officer) which stands at a junction holding up its hand in a 'stop' gesture.
— Charlotte Bahuon (@ChaBahuon) February 7, 2020
The idea is to trick motorists into thinking it is a real officer and slowing down and the 4,300 person village of Baden, in the département of Morbihan, is not the first French village to try this technique – although previous attempts in Brittany, Moselle and the Vendée have deployed slightly more realistic looking officers.
Drivers in rural France should be aware though that the gendarmerie do frequently employ real officers at junctions and committing driving offences such as failing to stop completely at a stop sign can incur heavy penalties.
There are also mobile speed traps employed, particularly in areas that have high accident rates, which can catch out unwary drivers.
And it's worth being aware that, although you will see many people do it particularly in rural areas, flashing your light to warn oncoming drivers that there is a gendarme up ahead is actually an offence.
Probably doesn't apply to fake gendarmes though.