Police Pose As Windscreen Washers To Catch Drivers On Their Phones

They made a windfall in fines, and tips from drivers

What you need to know
  • Police officers posed as windscreen cleaners to catch drivers on their phones
  • 38 people were fined, likely netting $18,000 from the operation

Next time you pull up at a traffic light and a guy asks if you want your windscreen cleaned, make sure you’re not on your phone. Victoria Police have found what some are calling an ingenious way to catch drivers on their phones – posing as undercover windscreen washers at intersections to catch drivers on their phones.

The sting was exposed when a passer-by snapped a photo of a police officer holding a squeegee dressed in hi-vis and a baseball cap, very suspiciously speaking into a walkie-talkie.

Facebook Post
Hopefully, this photo wasn't taken while driving. (Source: Facebook)

If the undercover officer spotted a driver using their phone, he would radio to another officer waiting down the road who would then pull them over.

A statement by Victoria Police confirmed the operation: “Forest Hill police officers conducted a traffic operation in Nunawading yesterday targeting distracted drivers. Part of the operation involved covert observations of drivers in stationary vehicles. Police issued 38 infringement notices to drivers for using their mobile phone while driving.”

Given the fine for the offence is $484, the sting likely netted about $18,000. Hopefully, the cops were nice enough to at least return the change provided by these distracted, but generous, drivers.

If nothing else, this operation reveals that anyone could be an undercover officer at any time. That homeless man on the street? That’s an undercover cop. That guy wearing a trench coat and reading a newspaper upside down on a park bench with eyeholes cut out? That’s an undercover cop. That woman you’ve been married to for 15 years? Well, look again buddy, that’s an undercover cop.

So, the message is: never break the law, and never trust anyone.