Skip To Content
  • win badge

A Sneaky Cop Pretended To Be A Panhandler In Order To Bust Drivers On Their Phones

Buddy, can you spare $167 for a traffic ticket?

Many drivers thought Cpl. Mark Taylor of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) was a panhandler when he stood at a busy intersection with this sign. But a closer reading reveals what he was really up to...


Taylor would walk past cars at the intersection, peering in to see if the drivers had their seatbelts on, and to see if they were using their cell phone while driving, which is illegal.


"What was interesting is a lot of people didn't want to took at him because they figured, 'Oh, here's another person panhandling," said Gordon Molendyk, the spokesperson for the Vernon–North Okanagan RCMP detachment.

That made it easy for Taylor to radio to his colleagues around the corner in order to tell them which cars to stop, and for what infraction. Molendyk said 11 tickets were issued in an hour.

Is that a good tally?

"Put it this way, it was high enough that [the officers are] saying we'll be doing it again," Molendyk said.


This is just one of a few tactics police have been using to bust drivers who use their cell phone, according to Molendyk.

"City police forces have been riding on buses so they can see down [at people using their phones]," he said. They've also pretended to be construction workers.

Fred Prouser / Reuters
  1. Do you think it's OK for police to use tricks like this to catch drivers?

Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later
Looks like we are having a problem on the server.
Do you think it's OK for police to use tricks like this to catch drivers?
    vote votes
    Yes! We need to catch people who text and drive, and who don't wear seatbelts.
    vote votes
    I'm uncomfortable with them appearing to be a panhandler in order give out tickets.
    vote votes
    No, it's underhanded and dishonest. The police should be above this.

BuzzFeed Daily

Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

Newsletter signup form