Police in Somersworth, New Hampshire, posed as panhandlers, catching 96 drivers using cellphones during a 5-day sting operation.
Since 2014, it has been illegal to use a mobile electronic device while driving except in the case of an emergency. Because it is tough to get close enough to catch texters, other police departments across the country have even resorted to using special equipment to catch distracted drivers. Some have used planes or even 18 wheelers to look down on drivers.
Somersworth police didn’t have a plane or truck at their disposal, so they got creative, dressing up as panhandlers to get close enough to confirm that drivers were texting. During the 5 day operation, police stopped 107 cars and handed out 96 tickets. The first offense cost drivers $100 plus an administrative fee.
While most appreciate the police making the effort to get unsafe texting drivers off the road, some felt that the sting operation was entrapment.