Smile! There's a RCMP Officer Half-a-Mile Away That Snapped You Texting

If we're to believe what the police is telling us, texting while at the wheel is going to be the doom of our generation. Studies have been made, measures have been taken, but you just can't really expect somebody to stay away from their phone for more than five minutes.
RCMP surveillance equipment 1 photo
So what if texting - or browsing, or even taking those horrible things that people call "selfies" - and driving is terribly dangerous, it's just as bad if you don't do it, since everybody else on the road at that time is. You won't be able to dodge all of them when the proverbial stuff hits the fan. So, if these are going to be your final moments on Earth, at least make sure you leave with a clever Facebook status or something.

The police, however, is very determined to rid us of this very bad habit, but with so many cars and so many phones, there's just so much it can do. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (don't mind the name, it's a sham, they don't mount anything anymore) have just equipped their troopers with what could only be described as an optical equivalent of an AT gun.

The Mounties are using a DSLR camera mounted (ha!) on a tripod with a spotting scope that would make a sports photographer hide under the sink in shame. The real novelty here is the ability to attach a 24.2-megapixel DSLR camera with its 50-millimeter lens to the scope, enabling its operators also to take photos, instead of just looking through the optical instrument.

This rig is said to allow officers to spot any illegal contact with the phone from over three-quarters-of-a-mile away (that's over one kilometer). They will be deployed mostly in intersections where the cars are stopped, making it easier to snap a clear shot of the contravention. But since the British Columbia doesn't have a specific penalty for texting and driving, penalizing the drives instead for "distracted driving," it's not just using the telephone that will attract a fine: putting on makeup, reading a book or having breakfast are mentioned as equally bookable offenses, CBC News reports.

We have no idea how much this equipment might have cost, but since the value of the fine is going to increase on June 1 to $543 for the first offence and $888 for the second, they will probably pay for themselves in just a day or two.


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