German police recently initiated a single day program to spot check distracted driving behaviour across the nation. They employed 11000 officers to pull over 51000 drivers, issuing 3100 tickets for phone use in the process.
We welcome initiatives to reduce distracted driving behaviour. If the public credibly believes their illegal behaviours will be enforced, then they will consequently reduce the behaviour. We do worry though that these crackdowns are not sustainable - when will be the next time the police agency decides to do another one?
This lack of sustainability can be considered as an economic problem. The salary cost of 11000 officers for one day is roughly $2.8m excluding overheads (AUD, $250 per worked day). The officers issued fines worth $0.3m. For the same investment, the government could lease a whole fleet of automated enforcement trailers like Acusensus provides for a year or more.
If legislation is in place, in the first day of operation this fleet would issue significantly more penalty notices than the entire police operation. This fleet would then keep issuing notices every day of the year, consistently driving behavioural change while not taking funds away from other police and government operations.