Dozens of tickets were handed out in Thunder Bay on Thursday, after officers with railway and city police teamed up for a traffic sting operation focused on cell-phone enforcement.
Officers from CNR and CP dressed as bridge maintenance workers and positioned themselves at one end of the James Street swing bridge, where they had a clear view of oncoming vehicles.
The railway officers radioed information about violations to the city police officers, who were in full uniform on the other side of the bridge. Police pulled over the offenders as they exited the bridge.
Six cell phone tickets were issued, along with 12 seat belt infractions, as well as other charges — for a total of 37 tickets in three hours.
Police said officers were so busy writing tickets, 31 other offences that were observed weren't even dealt with.
According to a Thunder Bay Police press release it was "not a good day" for offenders, and two examples were provided:
- A couple was transporting some furniture in the back of a pick-up. She didn't feel comfortable driving across the bridge, so he got behind the wheel. Half way across the bridge, the truck went over a bump and four chairs went out of the box onto the road. The officers at the other end charged the driver with having an insecure load and being unlicenced.
- A grandmother was driving with a three-year-old child in the passenger seat. The child was belted with the adult belt and no child seat was used. Grandma was also smoking with the child in the car.
Thunder Bay Police said they plan to work with railway police again on similar projects — especially because police say it's difficult catching people using cell phones while driving, once drivers can see they're being watched by police.