TOPSHAM (NEWS CENTER Maine) — We all know reading is important, but who knew not paying attention to the cardboard signs people hold while standing in Maine medians could lead to a ticket.
Deputy Zach Kinderlan of the Sagadahoc County Sheriff's Department told NEWS CENTER Maine he was looking for distracted drivers on Tuesday, Aug. 7, while standing in a median in Topsham holding a cardboard sign and dressed in street clothes.
Kinderlan handwritten cardboard sign read:
"Hello. I'm a Deputy. If you're TEXTING and driving you are about to get a TICKET."
"I have walked up to a couple windows, and people shake their head no and I have to point to the badge on my hip so that they understand that I am a cop," Kinderlan said.
Dressed in sneakers, a t-shirt and shorts and holding a cardboard sign it may have been difficult for drivers to realize that Kinderlan is a Deputy.
Searching for drivers who are texting or not wearing seatbelts was the goal of the effort that is funded by the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety.
Looking at your phone, texting, watching a video even if stopped at an intersection is a violation, according to police.
Deputies say impersonating a panhandler is part of statewide effort to reduce distracted driving.