New Brunswick

RCMP don costumes to ticket distracted drivers

RCMP officers in Codiac are using disguises to bust offenders who text while driving.

Police say the undercover operation has been successful

RCMP officers in Moncton are using disguises to bust offenders who text while driving.

The police began the undercover operation in May and said they've issued hundreds of tickets for infractions since then.

When Cpl. Sylvain LeBlanc dressed up like a construction worker on the corner of Main and Highfield streets he said he handed out more than 25 fines.

He's also dressed up as homeless person and a bicyclist.

No matter the costume, LeBlanc said the Codiac RCMP are catching people red-handed.

"It's funny. Most of the people you catch with cellphones they'll tell you that it's their first time, that it was an emergency and they don't usually use it. Even if that was the case, they're still getting a ticket. But I don't buy it," he said.

LeBlanc said the police plan to run the operation all year.

Officers said they have busted motorists for everything from seatbelt violations to driving with studded tires in July.

"We always get the odd one that's really persistent on getting a warning, but it's still zero tolerance. They can try what they want but if they get caught, they get a ticket. There's no mercy for those."

The number of tickets issued is down compared to last year, according to LeBlanc, but he said that could be because the Codiac unit is short-staffed and not because there are fewer offenders.