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Canada: No escaping hobo cop


A scruffy looking man — hoodie up, clutching a tattered sign scrawled on a scrap of cardboard — shuffled up to a car at a busy intersection in this city west of Toronto. Drivers instinctively looked away.

But this sign’s wording was different from the usual begging appeal: “My name is Constable Mike Cairns. If you are reading this sign you are about to get a cell phone ticket.”

Witness the latest police tactic in the crackdown on distracted drivers.

Across Canada over the past several weeks, police officers have been dressing as panhandlers and clutching cardboard signs to mimic the curbside come-ons in order to get close enough to see drivers using handheld phones while driving.

In a growing list of cities, the unusual undercover tactic is snagging motorists who are texting, dialling, emailing or holding cell phones.
»No escaping hobo cop: New tactic aims to catch drivers using cellphones on the road

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