COBB COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV/CNN Newsource) – Police in Georgia went undercover on Tuesday by changing out of their blue uniforms and into yellow vests to stop distracted drivers.
Officers from Acworth, Kennesaw and Cobb Counties wore yellow construction vests on the side of highways as part of a hands-free operation. Every time they saw a distracted driver on a cell phone, they alerted a waiting officer via radio, who made the traffic stop.
“They’re looking for direct violations,” Sydney Melton of the Cobb County Police Department said. “So, this can be someone texting on their phone, (they’ve) encountered people playing on social media, on email.”
Cobb officials said the reason for the operation was because they have seen too many accidents and deaths caused by distracted driving recently.
Drivers caught on a cell phone are fined $50 for a first offense, followed by a $100 and $150 fine for the second and third offenses. Drivers are allowed to mount a phone on the car dash or windshield, but cannot hold one in their hand. One earbud is also allowed to be worn while driving.
Not all drivers were fooled on Tuesday.
“I asked them, ‘what are you guys working on?’ they said ‘surveying’,” one man said. “Come on now, you’re not tricking me.”
Tuesday’s operation was wrapped up by noon, but officials said they promise to be out again in other parts of the county soon.