• UNDERCOVER: Police pose as construction workers to catch distracted drivers

    By: Steve Gehlbach

    Updated:

    COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Police in metro Atlanta went undercover Tuesday, posing as construction workers to get drivers to put down their phones.

    Channel 2’s Steve Gehlbach learned that officers in Cobb County handed out more than 60 tickets in just three hours on Tuesday.

    Most officers were dressed in traffic-sign yellow, and some were holding surveying gear.

    “They’re looking for direct violations. So, this can be someone texting on their phone or people playing on social media,” said Sydney Melton, with the Cobb County Police Department.


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    Officers from Acworth, Kennedaw and Cobb County all took part in the hands-free operation Tuesday.

    Police said they’re seeing too many accidents and deaths caused by distracted driving.

    “The phone mounted on your dash or windshield, that’s OK. In your hand is not OK,” Melton said.

    The officers didn’t fool everyone.

    “I asked them, ‘What are you guys working?’ And they said, ‘Survey.’ Then I said, ‘Come on now, you’re not tricking me,’” one driver told Channel 2 Action News.

    Tuesday’s operation wrapped up around noon, but officers promised they’d be out again soon.

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    The Georgia State Patrol handed out tickets to almost 25,000 people in the first year of the Hands Free Law.

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

    Police said drivers can even get a ticket for holding their phone while waiting for a red light to turn green.

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