Police use hearse to help with distracted driver blitz

Toronto police are enlisting the help of a hearse to help drive home a message about the dangers of using electronic devices while at the wheel.
Police are using a hearse to drive home their message about distracted driving. 2:02

Toronto police are enlisting the help of a hearse to help drive home their message about the dangers of using electronic devices at the wheel.

Police used the hearse, which is equipped with police lights, to patrol Toronto roads on Monday. They found no shortage of drivers using their cellphones and other devices while driving.

Toronto police are using a hearse to catch drivers who use their cellphones while driving. Const. Clint Stibbe says the hearse is a good reminder about what can happen if drivers fail to pay attention while at the wheel. (Andrew Lupton/CBC)

"We're using the hearse as a symbol to show that you could be riding as a passenger in one of these if you use that phone while you drive," Const.Clint Stibbe told CBC News.

The enforcement effort kicks off a week-long campaign entitled "That Next Text or Call Could End It All."

Police stopped one driver on Monday who was shocked to see he was being pulled over by a hearse.

I've seen incidents where vehicles are weaving from one lane to the next, you'd swear they were impaired.- Toronto police Const. Clint Stibbe

"When he realized it was police in a hearse, he dropped his phone. Literally," said Stibbe. "He was quite shocked to see that he was being stopped by this kind of vehicle."

Stibbe said distracted driving remains a major cause of traffic accidents.

"I've seen incidents where vehicles are weaving from one lane to the next, you'd swear they were impaired but they were using their cellphone. You can't control your vehicle at any speed while you're doing something else."

Distracted driving can lead to a $150 ticket. The campaign continues through this week.

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