Police use officer disguised as homeless man to catch drivers texting behind the wheel

FOX 5's Bob Barnard reports on the enforcement effort.

- Montgomery County police are using an interesting method to catch drivers they suspect of texting while behind the wheel.

The department placed an officer -- disguised as a homeless man -- at the intersection of River Road and Goldsboro Road in Bethesda. The officer, equipped with a wireless microphone, held a sign that read, "I am not homeless. I am a Montgomery County Police Officer looking for cell phone texting violations."

When drivers pulled out their phones to text while waiting at the stop light, the disguised officer called to uniformed officers waiting nearby.

Meanwhile, police recently held a sting operation aimed at catching drivers who did not stop for school buses. It came after Montgomery County police released a video of a school bus coming to a stop on River Road in Bethesda with its flashing lights and stop arm activated and most drivers on both sides of the road just kept on going.

Montgomery County police Sgt. Phillip Chapin and about eight other officers issued a total of 56 tickets county-wide that day, including 31 tickets and 9 warnings to people caught using their phones without hands-free devices.

Chapin told the Associated Press that authorities are seeing more distracted-driver-related deaths as a result of people using their phones while behind the wheel.

READ THIS NEXT: School bus safety: Are you breaking the law?

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