Ga. cops pose as construction workers to catch distracted drivers

ATLANTA (WSB/CNN) - Police in Georgia did more than patrol this week to catch drivers breaking the hands-free law. They went undercover, changing out of blue uniforms and into bright yellow construction vests to ticket drivers who won’t put down their phones.

"They're looking for direct violations. So this could be someone texting on their phone. We’ve encountered people playing on social media, on email,” said Sydney Melton with the Cobb County Police Department.

Alert, waiting officers then pull out to make the stop.

Officers from three different jurisdictions just outside Atlanta all took part in the hands-free law operation, writing plenty of tickets, but they didn't fool everyone.

The first offense comes with a $50 fine, which then goes up to $100 and $150 for the second and third offenses.

Under the hands-free law, a phone mounted on your dashboard or windshield is okay, but you can’t hold it in your hand. Earburds are legal, as long as you only wear one.

Cobb police say they're seeing too many accidents and deaths caused by distracted driving.

“So, if we can do something to prevent those, we want to do that,” said Melton.

Tuesday's operation wrapped up by noon, but police promise to be out again in another part of Cobb County soon.

Officers in Cobb County say they handed out more than 60 tickets during the three-hour operation.

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