Clever police punishment for drivers using cell phones
New policy confiscates phones.
Forget issuing you a ticket. Police have a creative new way to penalize you for using your cell phone while driving; they take your phone.
That's what police in Cape Town, South Africa are doing to motorists caught texting or talking on their handsets while driving.
Patrolling in unmarked cars, police are deliberately seeking distracted drivers. When they catch them, they confiscate their cell phones, but allow the driver to keep their SIM cards, to protect their privacy.
Violators could face a 500 rand fine, which is about $70 USD, and up to three years in jail, although jail time is fairly unlikely.
Of greater punishment is the 24 hour period without the phone.
Police say the fines are too low to serve as a deterrent, but most people can't imagine being stuck without their phone.
In South Africa, drivers are allowed to use hand-free headsets to talk while driving.
While some are criticizing the move, many are also applauding it, saying the confiscation will help in deterrence and make the streets safer.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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