Better Way to Find Distracted Drivers

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 2:07 p.m. January 18, 2019

The TTC has partnered with Toronto Police to keep drivers from using their cellphones on the road.

A man in TPS uniform standing on a streetcar
A Traffic Services officer looks for distracted drivers from a streetcar

Officers have been riding TTC streetcars and buses during a traffic enforcement campaign to ensure drivers are not using a handheld device – a $615 fine.

Drivers seem to be getting the message as police on a streetcar return trip between Lakeshore Barns and Long Branch loop on January 16 failed to nab anyone breaking the law.

As part of a blitz to catch distracted drivers, Toronto Police Traffic Services collaborated with the Toronto Transit Commission to have officers ride on TTC vehicles to spot distracted drivers.

“What we have found is that drivers are moving phones to their laps and using them when they stop at a red light or while driving,” said Sgt. Brett Moore. “That makes it difficult for officers to see what’s going on.”

A police spotter was placed on the streetcar.

“If they see someone using their device, they would call out the number plate, a vehicle description and what they saw and radio that to an officer trailing the streetcar,” said Moore. “That officer would pull the vehicle over and issue a ticket. We want people to get the message that distracted driving is inherently wrong.”

This is the first time that police has partnered with the TTC on a traffic safety initiative.

“Other police agencies in Canada have applied it, but it’s a first for us,” he said, giving credit to the Waterloo Regional Police Service.

TPS crest watermark