Friday, February 04, 2005
I know that distracted drivers are a threat to road safety, but is this really necessary?

Cops use plane to nab apple-eating driver

LONDON (Reuters) - Police called in a spotter plane, helicopter and video-equipped patrol car to help convict a woman who ate an apple while driving to work, newspapers have reported.

After nine court hearings and a trial lasting more than two hours, nursery nurse Sarah McCaffery was fined 60 pounds on Monday when a court upheld a police decision to give her a penalty ticket.

Police used the plane, helicopter and car to film road conditions on the route she took in Tyneside, northeast England, after officers pulled her over in December 2003.

"It is a joke they put so much effort into this," McCaffery, 23, told the Sun newspaper on Tuesday. "You would think they had better things to do."

She said she had both hands on the wheel of her Ford Ka and was driving safely.

But police and public prosecutors said she was not in control and they were obliged to gather evidence when she chose to fight the fine in court.