If building a house for local birds is awesome, and getting motorists to drive safer is awesome, too, then retiree Ian Magee may have single-handedly invented one of the awesomest things ever. Faced with a steady stream of drivers failing to respect the speed-limit in front of his Somerset, UK home, Magee devised a way to get them to slow down, while at the same time providing shelter to avian wildlife -- by building a birdhouse that looks exactly like a law enforcement traffic camera and installing it in his front yard.Most drivers know that they shouldn't speed, but sometimes they need a deterrent to get them to ease up on the gas -- that's why officials across the UK use traffic camera to slow things down. Too often, though, ordinary citizens have been powerless to calm the rate of traffic -- that is, until Magee proved it could be done with some wood and a can of yellow paint.
"Many motorists travel more than double the speed limit down this hill and tourists also cause a problem," Magee told the Daily Mail. "I decided that I would make a bird box, for the birds to nest in, and I would make it look like a speed camera to try and fool people into slowing down."
According to the Daily Mail, the 'traffic camera' birdhouse Magee installed in his front yard is so convincing that, in addition to slowing down commuters, police cars and off-duty ambulances have been driving more carefully on his street.
Interestingly enough, this isn't the first time a fed up citizen has devised a bird-friendly way to fight crime. Last year a retire police officer in the UK installed a similar camera-looking birdhouse in his yard, much to the delight of area finches and proponents of traffic safety.
But unfortunately, not everyone is pleased with the retired car salesman's clever wildlife haven, despite the fact that birds seem quite fond of their new hangout. The local city council has taken issue with Magee's awesome installation -- ostensibly citing the box as 'cluttering' the area; they may force Magee to remove the birdhouse.
Ironically, perhaps the only thing that could be effective in preserving Magee's act of light vigilantism is a sit in. Evidently, a species of protected bird has moved into the traffic-slowing birdhouse, which just might make removing it more of a no-no than putting it up in the first place.
In other words, just when you thought this awesome story couldn't get any awesomer -- it does.
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