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Old 03-23-2012, 11:56 AM   #1
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:35 PM   #2
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The Story-
In five months, Calgary cops managed to nab 1,456 drivers — or
rather, 1,456 people texting, dining, changing songs and chattering on
their cellphones.

Driving was definitely a secondary concern for the motorists fined
under Alberta’s Distracted Driving law, just as it was for the 379
people fined by Edmonton police in February alone.
Three hundred and seventy-nine tickets in one month? An average of 291 distracted drivers every four weeks in Calgary?

That’s some fine police work — or it is, until you measure it against
the ingenious tactic being used by RCMP traffic cops in B.C.
Try 4,449 tickets written in a single month, in large part because of
a sneaky strategy which puts drivers at ease, even as a police officer
peers into their vehicle from a few centimetres away.
“Hello, my name is Constable Martell. If you’re on your cellphone
right now, you are about to get a ticket,” reads the hand-drawn
cardboard sign, held by the scruffy man in the blue hoodie.
The man posing as a panhandler is actually an RCMP officer,
reportedly from Chilliwack, B.C., and his photograph is currently making
the rounds online.

We’ve all seen them, the scruffs who hang around at traffic lights
begging for spare change, a sob story about lost jobs or similar
misfortune scrawled on their cardboard.
When the light turns red, the panhandler wanders among the cars,
seeking surplus coins — and most motorists ignore them, going about
their business while trying to avoid eye contact.

Stop-light begging is a big city issue, but it’s provided the urban
camouflage that’s allowed RCMP officers to walk right up to cars at
lights, to see what the driver is doing.

Texting, talking, and so forth are noted — and then the details are
radioed to the uniformed officers waiting just up the road, ready to
pull the distracted driver over, and issue a ticket.

“Some of the enforcement involves our officers being in plain clothes
of one form or another, standing around the intersections,” said Sgt.
Peter Thiessen, spokesman for the RCMP Lower Mainland District Regional
Police Service.

“Sometimes they appear to be squeegee people or something like that —
the Lower Mainland is leading the way with different methods of
enforcement.”

A February 2012 enforcement blitz, where the bogus-beggar tactic was
part of the plan, resulted in a dramatic increase in tickets — nearly
double the year before.

Police in B.C. say the change in tactics may have shown that
distracted driving numbers haven’t decreased, so much as drivers are
learning to be sneaky.

But with fake panhandlers now staring into cars, so are the police —
and with 27 B.C. traffic deaths linked to distracted driving in 2011,
sneaky policing isn’t about to stop.

Like Alberta, hands-free phones are allowed in B.C., where the fine
for using an electronic device while driving is $167, plus three
demerits.

But drivers aren’t getting it, and so Thiessen says drivers in his
province — including Albertans visiting B.C. — shouldn’t be surprised to
find out that last beggar was a cop.
“It certainly works,” said Thiessen.

“Our stats went up from last year significantly.”

And if police in Edmonton and Calgary choose to follow, it could work in Alberta too.

Provincial Solicitor General Jonathan Denis says B.C.’s traffic-light
tactics could certainly be imported by police here, with the full
support of the Alberta government.
Denis sees undercover officer strategy as a fair way of catching those driver breaking the rules.

“Often for speeding, the officers will hide somewhere, and I don’t see this as any different from that,” said Denis.

The Sol-Gen, who sets the rules for Alberta police forces but doesn’t
tell them how to operate, says he sees no reason for Albertans to
complain if police in our big cities start using the panhandler ploy.
“If people are worried about getting distracted driving tickets, they shouldn’t drive distracted,” said Denis.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:06 PM   #3
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“Hello, my name is Constable Martell. If you’re on your cellphone
right now, you are about to get a ticket,” reads the hand-drawn
cardboard sign, held by the scruffy man in the blue hoodie.
The man posing as a panhandler is actually an RCMP officer,
reportedly from Chilliwack, B.C., and his photograph is currently making
the rounds online.
That's Chilliwack, alright... well, Sardis, technically... intersection of Luckakuck and Vedder: chilliwack - Google Maps
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:29 PM   #4
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Original link and video!

Creative crackdown on distracted drivers
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:02 PM   #5
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"I'll go over, hold out my badge, they'll look at me and just sort of shake their head, and keep talking on their cellphones, and drive down the road to get pulled over where the other officers are."



If you're really that oblivious, you NEED a ticket to wake you the fuck up behind the wheel.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:20 AM   #6
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:06 PM   #7
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Wouldn't want anyone checking the time on their phone, or changing a track on their MP3 player while stopped at a red light now...


Perhaps the Deputy Chief should be put on "homeless man" duty for his little transgression: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Depu...493/story.html
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:50 PM   #8
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Wouldn't want anyone checking the time on their phone, or changing a track on their MP3 player while stopped at a red light now...
A ticket should be a nice, safe reminder that the next time, you may not be so lucky, and the next four or five drivers stuck behind you who missed the light because you couldn't wait five minutes to text your boyfriend back ME RUV U RONG TIME are going to get out of their cars and come beat your ass and then lock you in your own trunk
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:58 PM   #9
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A ticket should be a nice, safe reminder that the next time, you may not be so lucky, and the next four or five drivers stuck behind you who missed the light because you couldn't wait five minutes to text your boyfriend back ME RUV U RONG TIME are going to get out of their cars and come beat your ass and then lock you in your own trunk

The few times I ever used my phone in the car (when it was legal) I was constantly checking the light for the cross street. If it was yellow, I put down my phone so I wouldn't be caught off guard with a green light.

It's pretty simple to use devices responsibly.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:18 PM   #10
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It's pretty simple to use devices responsibly.
That's the problem though, the devices are easy to use which means it is just as easy to use the devices irresponsibly and there is far more opportunity to do so.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:30 PM   #11
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The law should have been written to allow for responsible use of the devices, not ban them entirely.

If you have officers in disguise on the median looking right into cars, it's pretty easy to spot when someone puts it down before holding up traffic.


If you permitted responsible use of the devices, you would likely achieve greater compliance with the law.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:19 PM   #12
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The law should have been written to allow for responsible use of the devices, not ban them entirely.

If you have officers in disguise on the median looking right into cars, it's pretty easy to spot when someone puts it down before holding up traffic.


If you permitted responsible use of the devices, you would likely achieve greater compliance with the law.
Highly unlikely. The law is written to allow for responsible use of the gas pedal. How many people actually drive the speed limit if there is no cars in front, keeping them at the speed limit?
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:32 PM   #13
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How many people actually drive the speed limit if there is no cars in front, keeping them at the speed limit?
How many speed limits are appropriately for the road? Seeing how there's a very low compliance rate with posted limits, I'd say most of them are under posted.

The very fact that the police do speed enforcement blitzes when the nice summer weather hits is proof that people do in fact adjust their speed to conditions. They drive slower in the dark, rainy season, and faster in the clear conditions.

If you want compliance with road rules, set reasonable ones.


And for what it's worth, my travel speed with no traffic around is generally within 10% of the posted limit. In heavier traffic I will "go with the flow" so I can better manage space in front, behind and to the side of my car.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:59 PM   #14
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It's pretty simple to use devices responsibly.
Well, not everyone on the road is as simple as you...
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:01 AM   #15
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Well, not everyone on the road is as simple as you...
Soundy, I can appreciate where you're coming from. Sometimes when there's a little black and white border collie yapping at you, it can be scary to leave the flock of sheep and think for yourself.

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Old 03-26-2012, 06:36 AM   #16
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Soundy, I can appreciate where you're coming from. Sometimes when there's a little black and white border collie yapping at you, it can be scary to leave the flock of sheep and think for yourself.

There some sort of source for a study that shows using a device "responsibly" does not impair one's driving ability?

Just asking because there are multiple studies that show the opposite.

Just as bad as drunk driving, studies show.
Listening To Cell Phones Impairs Driving, Study
Cell Phone Use as Dangerous as Drunken Driving

Little bit more of the science behind it.
Cell Phone Users Drive 'Blind'; Study Explains Why Hands-Free Phones Just As Bad As Hand-held

texting doubles reaction time, apparently.
New study says texting doubles a driver
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:50 AM   #17
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Soundy, I can appreciate where you're coming from. Sometimes when there's a little black and white border collie yapping at you, it can be scary to leave the flock of sheep and think for yourself.

That makes NO sense at all...
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:40 AM   #18
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The Story-
In five months, Calgary cops managed to nab 1,456 drivers — or
rather, 1,456 people texting, dining, changing songs and chattering on
their cellphones.
Your not allowed to drink/eat in the car in Alberta??
No drinking coffee/pop/water??
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:54 AM   #19
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There some sort of source for a study that shows using a device "responsibly" does not impair one's driving ability?

Just asking because there are multiple studies that show the opposite.
In most cases, "responsible" use of a cell phone in a car means not using one while in motion. I've always maintained that one of the big distractions is having a conversation with someone who is not in the car.

But, tell me this - I'm at a red light, stopped, cross traffic still has a green light. Cars in front and behind me have all stopped. How does glancing at the phone to check for messages cause me to crash a stopped car? How does picking up the phone to say "I'll call you back in 5" cause me to crash a stopped car?
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:52 AM   #20
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How does picking up the phone to say "I'll call you back in 5" cause me to crash a stopped car?
Don't worry, I have faith in you.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:31 PM   #21
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Your not allowed to drink/eat in the car in Alberta??
No drinking coffee/pop/water??
Dining while driving

http://gigabiting.com/wp-content/upl...4/eatdrive.jpg
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:12 PM   #22
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In most cases, "responsible" use of a cell phone in a car means not using one while in motion. I've always maintained that one of the big distractions is having a conversation with someone who is not in the car.

But, tell me this - I'm at a red light, stopped, cross traffic still has a green light. Cars in front and behind me have all stopped. How does glancing at the phone to check for messages cause me to crash a stopped car? How does picking up the phone to say "I'll call you back in 5" cause me to crash a stopped car?
If you take one of my driving courses I will tell you that you should be looking at the traffic lights, the position & motion of other traffic, the crosswalks and your rear view and side mirrors, in constant rotation. Focus on a phone and you miss all sorts of stuff. Bet you've seen someone on a cell phone while stopped miss a green light or mistake an advance/protected green for the regular green and start moving when the light is still red for them. I have. Bet others here have.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:49 PM   #23
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Bet you've seen someone on a cell phone while stopped miss a green light or mistake an advance/protected green for the regular green and start moving when the light is still red for them. I have. Bet others here have.
Oh yeah! Two classics:

Few years ago, westbound SE Marine & Knight St. There are two left-turn lanes to southbound Knight St. Bridge, and three through lanes. Thru lanes were all green, left-turns were red. I rolled up to the stop line in the far left lane... another guy rolled to the stop line in the second turn lane... and a third guy rolled to a stop right beside him... in the thru lane. With a green light. And with a cell phone stuck to his head. Guy in the middle looked at him... looked at me... looked back at him, back at me... we both shrugged and gave each other "WTF???" looks... then dude in the thru lane clued in and took off.

And just last week: United Way onramp to Highway 1 westbound has the alternating merge lights. Left lane was just your average series of cars. Right lane was a 5-ton reefer, an X3, and me.

So... light goes green for the reefer... he starts moving. Left goes green for left lane, but the reefer hasn't cleared yet. Light goes green for our lane just as reefer clears, guy in left lane continues on in turn, X3 ahead of me skips her turn as our light goes red. Guy in the left lane goes ahead on his green... then our light goes green... X3 sits there, sits there, brake light finally goes off... light goes red... brake light goes back on.

That's when I leaned on the horn... as the left light went green, next car went... then our light went green and the X3 FINALLY went ahead.

After we got on the freeway, I finally managed to pass the X3... surprise, surprise, she had her iPhone in its nice pink case clamped to her ear.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:42 AM   #24
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:17 AM   #25
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If you take one of my driving courses I will tell you that you should be looking at the traffic lights, the position & motion of other traffic, the crosswalks and your rear view and side mirrors, in constant rotation.
When it was legal to do so, any time I operated a phone while waiting at a light I found it quite easy to incorporate button presses into that constant rotation of watching the lights and mirrors.

Cross street still green, press a button. Cars behind are stopped, press another button. Glance at crossing traffic, press a button. Notice cross street light is yellow, set down phone and prepare for the green.

It's pretty easy really.
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