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Canadian Police Use DSLR and Scope to Snap Distracted Drivers from Afar



Police in Canada are using a super-telephoto camera setup to spot distracted drivers from afar and capture evidence of their misbehavior. The kit consists of a DSLR, 50mm lens, and a spotting scope.

CBC News reports that the spotting scope lenses, which are being rolled out to the RCMP this month, allow officers to photograph distracted drivers from up to 1.2 kilometers (~.75 miles) away.

While traffic officers have used spotting scopes for years now, the addition of the DSLR is new. The 24.2 megapixel photos can help a ticket stand up in court as long as the driver’s phone is visible in the shot. Drivers will also be nabbed for other behaviors — things like putting on makeup, eating a bowl of cereal, or even reading a book while waiting at a light.

For safety purposes, the cameras will be trained at drivers stopped at intersections rather than those speeding down roadways, so the autofocus and tracking capabilities of the camera aren’t as important as the resolution and clarity of the resulting images.

Image credits: Header photograph by RCMP