The man holding a cardboard sign near 48th Avenue and Anderson Way in Vernon Monday afternoon wasn’t a homeless person.
It was Vernon RCMP Cpl. Mark Taylor, on the job looking for people talking on their cell phones or not wearing seatbelts.
And, according to Taylor, a lot of people did not notice him holding a sign that said “I am not homeless. RCMPolice looking for seatbelt/cell phones.”
“It is very interesting when most people looked my way and thought I was panhandling, they quickly looked away so that there was no eye contact,” said Taylor. “Many never got to read my sign. Several who did gave me a thumbs up.”
There were, however, 11 people not happy Taylor was there.
In one hour, officers issued 11 tickets to motorists for either using a cell phone while driving or not wearing a seatbelt.
Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP officers are reminding the public that it is illegal to operate your vehicle and use your cell phone even while stopped at an intersection.
The use of seatbelts has been mandatory for decades.
“Be aware,” said Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk. “You will likely see our friendly sign man again in and around the city.”