Rich Driver = Poor Driver, Beggarman = Cop


From our hideous neighbors to the north, an amusing/horrifying example of some mighty trifling police work, the "hobocop" campaign, as explained in the Toronto Sun:

@PCArsenault's Twitter/Toronto Sun

Const. Brian Kellar, a one time officer of the month, was dressed as a homeless person — complete with hat, hood and cardboard sign — who appeared to be begging for money.

But what he and another officer were really doing this week was approaching motorists to determine if they were on, or touching, their smart phones.

Slick manoeuvre. Innovative.

On one side of the sign, it read: "I've got High Hopes — Frank Sinatra."

On the other was written the more ominous "Hello I am a Police Officer: If you are reading this you are about to get a cellphone ticket."…

It's also quite a ding to the offenders and a windfall for government. Thanks to one stroke of the pen of a judge, the fine as of March 18 went from $155 to $280.

We should remember that what starts as simple tickets can turn into some serious problems in people's lives, especially those lacking a fair amount of disposable cash or those who just don't have their shit together about getting things in the mail on time. See my earlier Reason article, "Petty Law Enforcement vs. The Poor."