Four undercover San Bernardino police officers posed as panhandlers on highway off-ramps holding signs, in an effort to catch distracted drivers.
Officers Alvarez and Walton and the other two cops each put sunglasses on and held cardboard signs which read:
I am not homeless. SB Police. Looking for seat belt / cellphone violations.
1. Four officers from the San Bernardino Police Department in California posed as panhandlers during a sting operation.
When drivers who were on phones, talking or texting, or weren’t wearing a seat belt came to within a few feet of the undercover officers, they alerted motorcycle cops who waited nearby.
The uniformed motorcycle officers ended up having a very busy day, pulling drivers over for the violations observed by their undercover colleagues.
In all, the sting operation led to 50 vehicle stops. Police issued 33 cellphone violations and 15 seat belt violations.
Incredibly, no fewer than five cars were impounded because their drivers were either unlicensed or were driving with a suspended licenses.
San Bernardino, California, police said in a statement:
During this detail, our undercover officers walked up to the windows of many vehicles unnoticed by the drivers that were either talking or texting on their cellphones.
Those calls and messages can wait until you arrive at your destination and are not worth risking the life of yourself or those around you while driving.
2. They held signs which read: “I am not homeless. SB Police. Looking for seat belt / cellphone violations” (photo: San Bernardino Police Department).
A Facebook post about the sting operation on the department’s official page prompted one man to observe:
I don’t see cops getting tickets when they don’t wear their seat belts or text while driving.
That remark quickly led another commenter to respond:
Emergency services are allowed to talk and drive.
Police use cellphones to free up radio airtime, also speaking about confidential info, protects from scanners listening… and knowing private info about you.
San Bernardino Police Department officials said that the goal of the operation was to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, as well as the importance of wearing a seat belt.
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