Drivers have to be fully aware of their surroundings when they are on the road. It is important that they stay focused and undistracted. Being distracted even for a split-second can result in an accident.
Nevertheless, portable technology has made it difficult for drivers to keep their eyes on the road. People have become more brazen about using their phones while driving. Because of safety concerns, the police force of Bethesda, Maryland decided to take matters into their own hands.
During their daily commute, drivers in Bethesda saw a peculiar sight on the side of the road – a homeless man holding up a sign.
However, as soon as the drivers were close enough to read the placard, it was revealed that the man was not actually begging. He was, in fact, a police officer from the Montgomery County police station in civilian clothing. He was looking to reprimand drivers who were texting behind the wheel.
The sign stated that the man wasn’t homeless. He was a Montgomery County police officer looking for cell phone texting violations.
The operation proved to be successful. Unfortunately, not everyone is happy with the methods of the Montgomery County Police Station. Michael Housley, a resident of Potomac, Maryland, has emailed the station complaining about their tactics.
Housley explained that their homeless person rouse can be very distracting. The first time he encountered the supposed panhandler, he almost hit the car in front of him.
He and others have stated that a homeless-looking person holding up a difficult to read sign approaching their car while coming up to a red light can be downright frightening. He argued that the tactic was just as distracting as the handheld phone usage the Montgomery Police were trying to prevent.
Overall, the operation resulted in 31 fines and 9 warnings.
In the clip below, you can see some of the people being flagged by the police:
What do you think about the police’s scheme to catch drivers on their cell phones? Let us know in the comments box!
Please share this story if you think cell phone use while behind the wheel of a car should be stopped once and for all.