Const. Curtis Trotz, left and Sgt. Glen Porter.
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Distracted drivers probably should have paid attention to a pair of railway workers on the James Street Swing Bridge Thursday afternoon.
Instead they'll be paying fines as the men were actually members of the Canadian National Railway Police working with the Thunder Bay Police Service as they handed out nearly 40 tickets in a matter of hours.
Dressed in plain clothes and wearing safety vests, Const. Curtis Trotz and his partner were at the south end of the bridge watching as drivers committed a number of traffic violations.
They would radio police on the other side of the bridge who would stop and ticket drivers when they reached the other side.
Trotz said there were so many violations that around 30 people got away without being ticketed because police were already tied up with other drivers.
"It's very surprising how many people don't have their belts on or are talking on the phone when these laws have been in place for a very long time now," Trotz said.
"We can't write enough tickets to keep up," Thunder Bay traffic Sgt. Glen Porter said.
Distracted driving is hard to enforce when police are in marked vehicles and wearing uniforms because people will stop committing the offense before officers can spot them.
"We have to come up with novel and different approaches in enforcing that law," he said.
"You can expect that we are going to continue."
Which may upset those who continue to drive while distracted. Some already shouted or squealed their tires coming back over the bridge after getting caught.
"Maybe frustration that they got caught committing a safety offense," Trotz said.
In a news release sent to media after the blitz, the police service outlined some of the more colourful and memorable infractions.
Police say a couple transporting some furniture in the back of a pick-up. But the truck hit a bump halfway across the bridge, spilling four chairs onto the road from the box of the truck.
The officer at the other end of the bridge would have only issued a ticket for having an insecure load, but the driver didn’t have a valid licence, which led to an additional charge.
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