Launched as the first of its kind in Saskatchewan, “Operation Bus Cop” follows the lead of other Canadian cities who have used similar methods to catch distracted drivers using public transport (via CBC News).
What this means is that commuters in Saskatchewan might see a police officer riding along with them. But don’t expect him to focus on what is happening on the bus: the police officer will be keeping his eyes on the road looking for drivers using their cellphones.
Québec City, Thunder Bay, Ont., Victoria and York Regional Police outside of Toronto have all used this tactic. If an officer spots a driver with a phone, he radios to another officer in an unmarked car, who will “invite” the driver to pull over.
The advantage of this tactic is that the police officer can focus on his job – spotting distracted drivers – as he is not distracted by driving a vehicle. And, of course, he could be assisted by commuters who can point to distracted drivers, helping the officer in his work.
As a first step, Regina police officers will start with warnings, to raise awareness. That’s starting today. But things turn severe from March 1, when tickets will be handed out through the entire month. A ticket for distracted driving costs $280.
Image credit: CBC