Construction scarecrow man

It seems that, for some reason, Taiwan loves to have constant road construction going on.  As a result, the areas that are being worked on are cordoned off and detours for traffic are pretty common.  Usually, traffic cones and tape are used to mark off these areas.  A typical sight on the roads in Taiwan:

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And upon closer inspection, you can see the construction scarecrow smiling and waving his arms:

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The first time I saw it, was from a distance and I thought it was a real person waving around flags – like the guys you see on runways flagging  planes around.  When I realized what he actually was, I thought it pretty funny.  What exactly is the purpose of this mock-up?  The line of traffic cones is visible from far and clearly shows that this patch of road is to be avoided.  So why the additional, arm waving, vest wearing scarecrow?  I’m sure it’s not to warn birds away.

Is it some sort of signal that workers are present and speed should be lowered?  Is it supposed to grant more authority to the scene and make people more likely to heed the warning signs around?  Or is it just used as a prop when one of the guys wants to go for a quick beer – so that a foreman looking from far away will still see the same number of bodies on the site?

I have no idea, but it’s a quirky thing that I still enjoy seeing as I drive around Taiwan.

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