Police in London have found a new vantage point from which to detect and nab distracted drivers–the city’s buses.
On Tuesday morning, a Londoner spotted a uniformed London Police Service officer riding the bus, peering out the window of his rear seat and into the cars of passing motorists. The tactic is not a new one broadly, but is being leveraged by London police for the first time as the department expands its anti-distracted driving efforts.
Traffic Management Unit Sgt. Amanda Pfeffer confirmed to AM980’s Andrew Lawton Tuesday afternoon that police in London were doing this, and explained the process more wholly.
“We have an officer positioned on a bus who is able to…look into cars as they pass and see what drivers are doing,” Pfeffer said, adding that the officer in question then reports scofflaws to officers who are trailing the bus in police cars with subdued markings.
“You would have seen a police vehicle following right behind that city bus. The vehicles aren’t what we commonly hear as undercover vehicles. These are our traffic management unit vehicles…. They are fully marked police vehicles.”
Pfeffer said that this latest strategy is one of an ongoing process to combat what authorities across Canada have reported as still being a growing concern.
“We are always looking for new an innovative ways to conduct enforcement,” she said. “I would just like to urge motorists to always be aware that you may not notice us initially but we are constantly trying new things in order to try to enforce this very dangerous driving behaviour.”
Police in other jurisdictions have used other tools such as long range photography and posing as panhandlers on medians.
Distracted driving fines in Ontario range from $490 to $1000, with up to three demerit points issued.