Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hobo-cop tactic hot topic with readers

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Hobo-cops are looking for distracted drivers.


Hobo-cops are looking for distracted drivers. Photo Store

A story about police dressing up as hobos to catch drivers using cellphones had our readers pulling over in droves to comment.


This hobo-cop sting is a cash grab because the vehicle is not moving at a red light when the driver takes a look at his or her cellphone. However, as soon as that same vehicle pulls away from the intersection while the driver is engaged with the cell phone, then a ticket is deserved.

What is the difference if I pulled over to the side of road to take a cellphone call ?

-- 23734452


Make the distracted-while-driving ticket worthwhile.

Loss of cellphone, and loss of car and license for a year plus a $1,000.00 fine.

That would be similar to a drunk driving penalty. There are not that many more murders in Manitoba and the citizenry scream for justice. Why are killers by cellphone any different?

-- beetle


It is so appropriate that the city is dressing police officers as beggars because apparently that is what the police service has become.

There are still no stats on how many injuries cellphones cause while driving. The city just wants the money.

-- 23943102


As the old saying goes, "It's not a cash grab. It's a voluntary tax on the stupid."

And I might as well add that I've never had a problem with garbage removal or my bins.

-- Rodney 2


I don't understand the concern about people looking at their phone while stopped at a red light. You can look at a map, put ketchup on your fries, put on lipstick, fish out a cigarette and light it (as long as there are no minors in the vehicle), or comb your hair; but a quick look at a screen is a hazard.

As soon as it affects driving, that's when tickets should be issued.

-- JustWondering


I agree with these tactics. I almost smashed into an suv that was pulling on to Ness Avenue. She was all over the place and still staring down and peeking up after almost biting it! "omg that was close lol"

And how about pedestrians with eyes glued to their phones crossing busy streets? It's in your interest to at least glance. Farmville can wait 12 seconds.

-- ernest borg9


What the friend who wrote "what is the difference between looking at a map and looking at a cellphone" doesn't get is that any form of distraction while driving is against the law, but legislators have spelled out specific rules with respect to cellphones so that there will be no confusion. So if you are brushing your hair, applying make up, eating a sandwich or typing on a laptop while driving (which definition includes while stopped at a red light) you are a distracted driver and can be charged.

-- 23668767


Speaking as a paramedic who has seen the tragic results of far too many collisions caused by distracted drivers, I would absolutely support any covert methods used to catch these people!

-- EG


Just out of interest, how many people commenting here are retired? Life was a lot different back when you had kids.

Heck, I remember when my dad would have the time to wait with me in a store because we arrived early to our designated meeting spot. There is no time like that any more. Parents job hours are being extended. My job expects me to respond within 10 minutes of being called. Letting the call go to voicemail is taken as a sign that you weren't being attentive to our duties. We need cellphones to keep in touch with our lives. Our kids are richer for it though. I doubt we could have them in extra curricular activities every day of the week without cellphones.

Anyway, whether you understand it or not cellphones are necessary today.

-- 23943102

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 27, 2014 A10

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