Regina buses to sport new Operation Bus Cop wraps

Drivers are receiving a big reminder to not drive while distracted in the Queen City.

SGI, the Regina Police Service, the city and Pattison Outdoor have teamed up to create Operation Bus Cop transit bus wraps to help promote safe driving in the city.

The move is to help lower distracted driving numbers in Saskatchewan. Last week, the provincial government announced stiffer penalties for distracted driving including a first-time fine of $580 and four demerit points starting February 1.

One of the buses was parked in front of the Regina Police Headquarters on Thursday afternoon for the unveiling of the wraps that feature Regina officers on the side of the bus. Lettering in between the image of the officers reads ‘Hey! We see that phone’.

Sgt. Mark Verbeek, who is the NCO in charge of Traffic for Regina Police, said it’s a marketing and educational tool to tell drivers to keep their phones away and focus on the road while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

As part of Operation Bus Cop, officers ride the bus to observe motorists and help patrol or traffic units catch offending drivers.

“They then go on the radio and notify police in the area, those officers pull over the vehicle, and then based on the observations from the member on the bus they issue the ticket,” explained Sgt. Verbeek.


He finds that the program serves as an educational tool for passengers on the bus since they will sometimes point out offenders to a police officer on the bus during their commute.

But police are not on the lookout for just motorists who use their phone or other distracting items while driving. Verbeek said they will be scouting for people not wearing seatbelts, children who are not properly secured in the vehicle and other offences.

Verbeek feels the buses are a win-win situation for their initiative. The bus gives people a large viewing area to see the warning advertisements throughout the city and they give officers an advantage from inside the bus, too.

“It does sit quite a bit higher and it gives a good observation point into vehicles,” Verbeek told reporters.

“The two officers on the side will hopefully encourage them to put down their phone or remind them that there could be an officer sitting behind those pictures radioing to another officer to pull them over.”

Three transit buses are currently using the new wraps.

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