The union representing Thunder Bay transit drivers is welcoming police officers on board.

The Thunder Bay Police Service recently began posting officers to city buses to crack down on distracted drivers.

"I think it's a good idea," said Sheila Kivisto, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 966.

"I don't believe that anybody should be using their cellphone when they're driving."

Under the program, a city police officer rides the bus looking for motorists who text, talk on the phone or otherwise show signs of distracted driving.

The officer then alerts a colleague in a patrol car, who pulls over the offending driver and issues a ticket. If the driver challenges the ticket, both officers will present evidence in court.

'As long as it's legal'

Thunder Bay police traffic Sgt. Glen Porter said police will be creative as they search out violators.

"Imagination is the limit ... as long as it's legal," he said.

"We've got some young, enthusiastic, and very keen officers in the traffic unit."

Porter said having officers on buses led to the ticketing of about 20 drivers one day last week, most for using cellphones.