Police pose as construction workers to catch distracted drivers

Metro Atlanta Police Pose as Construction Workers to Catch Distracted Drivers

KENNESAW, Ga. — Police in metro Atlanta went undercover Tuesday, posing as construction workers to get drivers to put down their phones.

Officers in Cobb County handed out more than 60 tickets in just three hours on Tuesday, according to WSB. The Marietta Daily Journal reported that 101 citations were issued that day.

Most officers were dressed in traffic-sign yellow, and some were holding surveying gear.

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"They're looking for direct violations," Cobb County Police Department spokeswoman Sydney Melton, told WSB. "So, this can be someone texting on their phone or people playing on social media."

Officers from Acworth, Georgia, and Kennesaw, Georgia, took part in the hands-free operation Tuesday.

"A lot of these officers today working this are the ones responsible for investigating serious injury and fatal accidents, so they've got an invested interest in this today," Melton said at a briefing for officers in the sting, according to the MDJ. "This is definitely a way for us to try to prevent this."

The Georgia State Patrol handed out tickets to almost 25,000 people in the first year of the Hands-Free Law, which allows drivers to use devices mounted on windshields or on the dash of a vehicle, but not in their hands. The first offense comes with a $50 fine, which goes up to $100 for the second offense and $150 for the third. Drivers can even get a ticket for holding their phone while waiting for a red light to turn green.

The officers didn’t fool everyone.

"I asked them, 'What are you guys working?' And they said, 'Survey.' Then I said, 'Come on now, you're not tricking me,'" one driver told WSB.

Tuesday’s operation wrapped up around noon, but officers promised they’d be out again soon.