Montreal

Sûreté du Québec takes to the skies to nab drivers cutting in illegally

Drivers have plenty of excuses when it comes to illegally cutting in when stuck in traffic, and the Sûreté du Québec has come up with a new way to nab them.

New strategy inspired by drivers, fed up with others crossing solid lines to get ahead

The Sûreté du Québec is trying something new to catch people in the act of cutting in illegally - aerial surveillance. (Radio-Canada)

We know, we know:

You never usually cut in front of other drivers!

You were running late!

Your GPS gave you bad directions, and you had to change lanes at the last minute!

Drivers have plenty of excuses when it comes to illegally cutting in when stuck in traffic, and the Sûreté du Québec has come up with a new way to nab them.

It's an aerial approach — the provincial police chartered a plane to fly above the congestion and spot motorists making the illegal manoeuvre.
Quebec provincial police kept getting angry phone calls to crack down on bad drivers. Here's what they did. 0:46

The new strategy was actually inspired by drivers who were annoyed by the practice and implored police to do something.

The SQ took the plane for a spin yesterday morning during an operation focused on Highway 132, the approach to the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine Tunnel.

The officer in the plane looked for offending drivers, and transmitted the information to officers on the ground who pulled them over and issued the tickets

Sgt. Ingrid Asselin explained the shoulder there is narrow, which can make it harder to conduct similar operations from the ground. But the plane also allows officers spot the offending cars earlier.

Crossing over chevrons to merge into a lane is a no-no, and the Sûreté du Québec is trying to catch people in the act. (Radio-Canada)

The manoeuvre shouldn't be confused with the zipper merge, which is an oft-cited method of merging into traffic. These drivers are crossing solid lines or chevrons in order to get ahead, in some cases cutting 15 minutes or more off their commutes.

SQ officers patrolling the approach to the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine Tunnel gave out 25 tickets during the Tuesday morning rush hour to drivers who cut in illegally. (Radio-Canada)

"It causes numerous collisions fairly often, sometimes with material damage but also with injuries," Asselin said, adding that the drivers who slow down to cut in are in lanes where other motorists are travelling at high speeds.

Not to mention it is annoying for fellow motorists, as this Facebook commenter pointed out.

(Facebook)

But others don't think the police should be in the business of enforcing traffic rules at all.

(Facebook)

Getting caught is costly — three demerit points and fines starting at $200.

A little reminder on the roads — don't cut in illegally, or it will cost you. Also, always spellcheck. (Radio-Canada)

So motorists, beware, the SQ plans to charter the plane again before the fall. They will also be conducting operations on the ground to catch people in the act.

What do you think? Good idea or not? Comment below or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

With files from Radio-Canada's Bahador Zabihiyan and Jean-Sébastien Cloutier

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.