Toronto cops dress up as roadside panhandlers to catch drivers with their hands on their phones

by Joey deVilla on March 26, 2014

undercover cell cops

Click the photo to see the source.

If “not killing people” wasn’t incentive enough for you to put down your phone while driving in Accordion City, here’s another: the cops have taken to dressing like roadside panhandlers to spot people breaking the mobile phone law. I love this cop’s cardboard box sign.

We need to start a betting pool on when they’ll pull over Rob Ford.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Bob smith March 26, 2014 at 11:28 am

How is this not considered entrapment?

Sean Silcoff March 26, 2014 at 11:46 am

put me down for “later today”

Bellers March 26, 2014 at 2:48 pm

not a fan.

I never ever text while driving because it is so obviously incredibly dangerous, but sometimes while I’m sitting at a long light, particularly if someone is begging for money outside my window and making me super uncomfortable, I will look at my phone to see if I have any messages, or to change the playlist I’m listening to.

This is the sort of thing these guys are going to see. Completely stopped people at red lights looking at their phone for a few seconds. Not people driving around texting. They’re catching the wrong people with this tactic.

That’s my opinion anyway.

Don P March 26, 2014 at 4:10 pm

SO a fan.

I can’t tell you how many times I was sitting at a GREEN light because the moron ahead of me was texting instead of paying attention. Or times I was almost run over as a pedestrian by morons on their phone instead of watching the road. Or the time I was hit from behind because the moron took that moment to read a text instead of noticing that I had stopped at a red light. Yep.

They should do this in every city. Or at least mine. I hope they catch every last one of them. Morons.

MaryL March 26, 2014 at 10:37 pm

I understand the temptation, but sorry, even stopped at a red light, you are in a running vehicle in a roadway shared by other vehicles. You have the responsibility to stay alert to what’s happening around your vehicle. (And we somehow managed to avoid panhandlers before smartphones, too.)

Worst case scenario: they bust only people who read at red lights only, but I think it’s more likely that a fair chunk of people getting nabbed are those who were using the phone before they halted at the light.

Matt Rose March 27, 2014 at 12:31 pm

They’ve been doing this in Ottawa since last summer.

Bellers March 27, 2014 at 6:59 pm

being stopped at a green for a few seconds because the driver was distracted during a red light (and really, this doesn’t have to be a cell phone, it could be a lot of other things) and having to honk your horn to alert them sounds very dangerous. Good thing the cops are out there catching this sort of behaviour before someone dies.

People running over pedestrians are driving not stopped. Same with someone who hits you from behind.

Christine February 29, 2016 at 6:18 pm

You know if someone offered money not to get a ticket they’ll take it and when is it against the law to use your phone when stopped

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