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Panhandling Police officers?
They aren't looking for change, they're waiting for you to break the law. Guess what? It's legit...
181 3
Photo: PC Aresenault

Admit it.

You do it.

You hear that familiar 'ping' from your cell phone while you're behind the wheel. So you reach over and grab it, holding it out of sight while you gaze down.

Do you reply?

It doesn't matter.

The guy standing at your window you thought was asking you for change, is in fact, a Toronto Police officer, and you have been busted.

Police are trying new tactics to try and crack down on the problem of distracted driving. Some of those new tactics include dressing as a panhandler, and checking on vehicles as they are stopped at a light.

It happened in the intersection of Markham Road and the 401 this week.

Constable Clint Stibbe is with Toronto Police Traffic Services, and says the way the law is written, they have to catch people in the act, actually holding their phones and either reading or typing.

So he says they have started to think outside the box when it comes at ways of enforcing the law.

"We're basically trying to get the message through to everyone, that it needs to stop."

When it comes to the officer dressed as a pan handler, he was holding a ratty cardboard sign that identified him as a Toronto Police officer and had the warning that if you were on your phone, you'd be getting a ticket.

"He had a sign, and his identification was clearly visible, so I don't think he was hiding anything" said Stibbe.

Currently the fine for distracted driving is $280, but proposed legislation would hike that to a maximum of $1000, and add three demerit points.

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181 3
Photo: PC Aresenault

Admit it.

You do it.

You hear that familiar 'ping' from your cell phone while you're behind the wheel. So you reach over and grab it, holding it out of sight while you gaze down.

Do you reply?

It doesn't matter.

The guy standing at your window you thought was asking you for change, is in fact, a Toronto Police officer, and you have been busted.

Police are trying new tactics to try and crack down on the problem of distracted driving. Some of those new tactics include dressing as a panhandler, and checking on vehicles as they are stopped at a light.

It happened in the intersection of Markham Road and the 401 this week.

Constable Clint Stibbe is with Toronto Police Traffic Services, and says the way the law is written, they have to catch people in the act, actually holding their phones and either reading or typing.

So he says they have started to think outside the box when it comes at ways of enforcing the law.

"We're basically trying to get the message through to everyone, that it needs to stop."

When it comes to the officer dressed as a pan handler, he was holding a ratty cardboard sign that identified him as a Toronto Police officer and had the warning that if you were on your phone, you'd be getting a ticket.

"He had a sign, and his identification was clearly visible, so I don't think he was hiding anything" said Stibbe.

Currently the fine for distracted driving is $280, but proposed legislation would hike that to a maximum of $1000, and add three demerit points.

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