It’s always important to be completely aware of what’s going on around you, especially when you’re behind the wheel of a car. But in a time when everyone is addicted to their phones, it’s increasingly typical for people to have their attention diverted when they need it most.

It is something that can be terrible in regions near schools or family-friendly parks. All it takes is for one driver to be looking down at their phone as a child runs out into the road.

In light of this, police in Bethesda, Maryland, made the decision to crack down on drivers who use their phones behind the wheel. They used a strategy for which nobody was prepared.

A man, looking like a homeless man was holding up a sign by the side of the road in the early morning hours as commuters made their way to work, giving cars the shock of their lives as they discovered they were headed right into his trap. He was dressed shabbily and had a placard in his hands that had only a few words but sent out a powerful message, and by the time most drivers were able to read the words on the sign, it was already too late.

Officers up the road pull over violators

Police in Bethesda, Maryland, has decided to take a harsh stand against drivers who disobey the law by using their phones while driving, according to the placard held by the “homeless guy,” who was actually Montgomery County Police Officer Patrick Robinson, says, “I’m not homeless. I am a Montgomery County police officer looking for cell phone texting violations.”

It was a part of a “sting operation,” in which police officers pretended to be someone else in order to catch drivers off guard.

As everyone is impacted by the problem of distracted driving which endangers everyone who uses our roads? Risks associated with such activity extend beyond the individual who is texting and driving. When an inattentive driver causes an accident and hits the automobile they are riding in, innocent children in that other vehicle may face the repercussions. This is something that has happened in the past.

The policeman had a wireless microphone on him as he stood by the side of the road. He provided fellow officers farther up the road with the description of the cars that were passing by while using their cellphones so that they could complete a stop.

The teams would flag down drivers in violation of vehicle-based cell phone laws.

Robinson apparently “saw almost 30 [violations] in an hour” during his operation, which lasted only two hours, according to the Daily Mail. 56 fines were also given, along with 22 driver cautions. In addition to receiving a ticket, those who were caught using a handheld device while driving were additionally fined $83 and given one point on their license, unless they had prior infractions in which case the price rose with each subsequent offense.

Some of the drivers were not thrilled about being discovered and offered numerous justifications for why they were using their phones while driving. The message was loud and clear to other, more rational people: safety comes first!

In a report by The Huffington Post, not only are cell phones involved in 1 in 4 auto accidents, but distracted driving causes nine fatalities every day in the United States, including texting while driving. Is the risk really worth it for any SMS message? In my opinion, no.

More are very likely to be organized, with this operation’s success. Unfortunately, some people still choose to text and drive despite the risks involved, but maybe the possibility of a citation will make them reconsider. Therefore, be careful to share this information with others because you never know who it might demotivate. But who knows? You might even end up saving a life.

Watch the video below for more details:

Sources: TapHaps, Huffington Post, Daily Mail

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