Distracted drivers plague the streets of most town and cities. States have tried to discourage drivers from focusing on their electronics by passing various laws resulting in tickets and fines, but phone-related accidents seem to have increased at an alarming rate. One police department is taking an unorthodox approach to fixing this issue.
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There have been instances of cops going undercover doing mundane jobs such as construction workers to catch drivers using their phones and speeding in construction zones.
Now, a Minnesota police department plans to put undercover officers on school buses so they can locate distracted drivers. Officers on the buses will alert nearby officers in squad cars identifying which cars to pull over.
“Busted by the Bus” is the name of the program focusing on making drivers think twice before texting and driving. Officers hope to catch people driving around stopped buses unloading kids. They hope that large fines and penalties will make drivers think twice about breaking the law.
One of the officers included in the sting, Chris Meade, explained he sees distracted drivers all over town. “I looked into the vehicle and I could see the driver of a black Cadillac sedan. He had his phone in his right hand, kinda resting in the center of the steering wheel, kinda texting with one thumb, holding the steering wheel with his left hand.”
Officers hope the increase in tickets and police presence on and around buses will deter drivers from driving distracted and start treating buses as vehicles full of children, instead of an annoyance they’re trying to get around.
Statistically speaking, there has been a stout increase in accidents involving school buses, which have a direct correlation to distracted drivers. According to Rare, buses see an average of 8 to 10 violations a day while driving children to and from school.
The most egregious crime bus drivers often see are distracted drivers almost crashing into the bus or swerving around the bus because they are not paying attention.