Mounties use huge camera rig to bust texting drivers

Distracted driving is a scourge on the nation's highways and byways, and police departments and government agencies are turning to technology to combat the dangerous practice. In Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police upped their game and rolled out a powerful new tool to catch distracted drivers just in time for their long Victoria Day holiday.

According to the CBC, the RCMP in British Columbia recently unveiled a new traffic surveillance system using powerful spotting scopes mated to high-definition digital SLRs. The cameras have a resolution of 24.4 megapixels and are equipped with a fast 50mm lens. When attached to the spotting scope, the rig can see objects nearly a mile away. This allows officers to spot drivers' bad behavior well before the drivers see the Mounties, especially if the drivers' are looking at their phones.

"Traffic services have used spotting scopes for years but the new part of this technology is now we have a spotting scope we can actually attach a DSLR camera with 24.2 megapixels and a 50 millimeter lens," Constable Melissa Wutke of the RCMP told CBC.

Constable Wutke said that the camera rigs were distributed to strategic locations throughout B.C. and focused on traffic lights and stop signs.

"It's not always safe or it doesn't always make sense to stand where drivers can see us," Constable Wutke told CBC. "So we'll stand back where we're not necessarily being noticed right off the bat and we'll train the scope on the windshield of the vehicle so as vehicles are coming up, stopped at a light, or stopped at a stop sign, we can be looking inside that vehicle and then, when we see a violator, we can have them pulled over once they're back on their way again."

Here in the United States, texting while driving is shockingly prevalent. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration released a study in 2013 that found 660,000 drivers using their phones or otherwise manipulating electronic devices at any given daylight moment.

Related Video:

Share This Photo X