Stealthy Windsor police van results in 114 cell phone related charges
Police hand out 300 tickets during four-day blitz
A Windsor police officer sitting in the back of a big grey van managed to catch 114 people using their phone while at the wheel last week, according to the police service.
The stealthy, unmarked van with dark, tinted windows was the setting for Project Dial Tone, a police initiative aimed at stopping distracted drivers.
"During the four-day blitz we did accumulate over 300 offences — 114 cell phone infractions and 184 other HTA (Highway Traffic Act) offences," explained Const. Andy Drouillard. "That was just from the van."
- Windsor police are using an unmarked van to bust distracted drivers
- Drivers outfitting tractor-trailers with cameras to capture bad behaviour
The simple strategy involved an officer sitting in the back who would take photos of distracted drivers in action, then let traffic enforcement police know who to pull over.
Police revealed their plan in a video posted on social media last week as part of a new Anytime, Anywhere campaign, meant to show how the force is protecting and educating the community each day.
Drouillard added the purpose of the video was to remind people that sending a text or changing a song can be a deadly distraction — drivers should put down their phones and keep their eyes on the road.
Check out our VIDEO <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AnytimeAnywhereWPS?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AnytimeAnywhereWPS</a><br>Capturing initiatives our members are doing ANYTIME, ANYWHERE in our Community.<br>Episode #1: Traffic Enforcement Unit : PROJECT DIAL TONE ! <a href="https://t.co/0tQTSnFOae">pic.twitter.com/0tQTSnFOae</a>—@WindsorPolice
News of the undercover van cruising Windsor roads quickly spread online, with some commenting police were giving away their plan, but Drouillard said secrecy was never the point.
"There's no secret. There are many different approaches we can use. We have unmarked vehicles ... we can use all sorts of unmarked cars. The whole idea is we could be any car out there."