Everyone likes prizes! People love getting rewarded for the things they do, myself included. But if that prize came at the expense of me being 15 minutes late to work and a near-heart attack because I thought I was speeding, I think I’d pass.
That was what Arizona local news outlet 12 News reported when a press release from the Tempe PD announced a new partnership with Circle K.
The story caused a lot of confusion and uproar from citizens of Tempe, claiming that it was unconstitutional to wrongfully pull over drivers.
12 News has since back tracked and reported that Tempe PD won’t actively be stopping motorists and cyclists, but rather find ways to engage citizens in discussion about traffic safety laws.
Tempe PD had this to say on Twitter:
Positive Ticketing Campaign: the purpose of the event is to positively engage with the public regarding laws pertaining to bicyclist, scooter and pedestrian safety. During this campaign, @TempePolice will not be proactively stopping vehicles, bicycles, scooters or pedestrians.
— Tempe Police (@TempePolice) July 29, 2019
The program, dubbed the ‘Positive Ticketing Campaign’, is a program still in effect despite the confusion, that is aimed at educating the public about traffic laws and how to properly behave while operating a vehicle on the road.
Officials say that they will engage citizens on these kinds of conversations, and reward their efforts with a free Polar Pop or hot beverage coupon from Circle K, redeemable at locations all across the valley.
“We will be having positive conversations with citizens, say an officer happens to stop somewhere and see somebody, and says ‘Hey would you mind having a conversation with me?’ (to) educate them on bicycle laws and traffic laws,” an official from Tempe PD said in a statement.
In summary, no, there was no malicious intent with the start-up of this program, however, the execution of the announcement could have been improved. You may drive safely without fear of… driving safely.
Hey, at least there are free things involved!