If you live in British Columbia, don’t try to sneak out a quick text while driving just because you don’t see any bobbies on the road. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have started using DLSR cameras attached to massive scopes to spot distracted drivers from as far as three-quarters-of-a-mile away.
Naughty drivers instinctively know to hide their phones while driving when they see a police car, but that doesn’t make using them any less illegal. (And it’s incredibly dangerous too, by the way.) To catch drivers in the act, traffic services in British Columbia have been using spotting scopes — which feature a distinctive bend to make them more comfortable to use — for years now. Now the police are adding a 24.2-megapixel DSLR to the rig to capture photos of the illegal act.
RCMP isn’t saying where the spotting scopes are being set up for obvious reasons, but it has admitted they are primarily being used at intersections where drivers are stopped at a red light or a stop sign, where it’s still illegal to use your phone. It’s also easier for officers to snap a sharp photo of the offence when a vehicle isn’t whizzing by.
Making the RCMP’s newest weapon against distracted driving publicly known will hopefully serve as a deterrent to drivers. Additionally, distracted driving fines in British Columbia are going from $543 (£285) Canadian to $888 (£466) starting on June 1st. Better to just let that last text go unanswered until you are safely parked. [CBC Calgary via PetaPixel]