Police Ruse Works: 50 Cars Stopped for Cell Phone, Seat Belt Violations

Police Ruse Works: 50 Cars Stopped for Cell Phone, Seat Belt Violations

SAN BERNARDINO – It was an unusual way to spot illicit seat belt avoidance, not to mention distracted driving last week.

San Bernardino police stopped 50 vehicles, issuing 33 citations for cell phone violations and 14 more to drivers not wearing their seat belts. Police spokesman Rich Lawhead said “four of our police officers stood on freeway off-ramps (Interstate 210 at Waterman Ave. and I-210 at Arden) in civilian clothing holding signs stating they were officers looking for seat belt and cell phone violators.”

Looking much like normal panhandlers, the ruse apparently worked.

Officer Walton looks for violators

Officer Walton looks for violators

Said Lawhead: “When officers saw motorists on the off-ramp within feet of them not wearing a seat belt or clearly talking or texting on their cell phones, nearby uniformed motorcycle officers were alerted so that they could contact the drivers.”

Five more cars were impounded because drivers were found to either be unlicensed or driving with a suspended license, he said.

The exercise took place on July 15, he said, though he did not disclose if there would be future similar exercises.

Lawhead stressed that it’s not just state law providing for seatbelt usage, but also is illegal to text or talk on cell phones while driving. “During this detail,” he said, “our undercover officers walked up to the windows of many vehicles unnoticed by the drivers that were either talking or texting on their cell phones.”

Those calls or messages can wait, he said, “until you arrive at your destination.” Lawhead added it’s not “worth risking the life of yourself or those around you while driving.”

Police Ruse Works: 50 Cars Stopped for Cell Phone, Seat Belt Violations was last modified: July 21st, 2015 by admin
Categories: San Bernardino

About Author

Lee Brown

Obrey "Lee" Brown has worked for 10 newspapers and magazines in the Bay Area, central and southern California. In 2005, he wrote "A Citrus Test: Football in Black & White." He can be reached at baseballOLB@hotmail.com.

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