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Cash for caution: Prosper police program rewards safe driving habits
Prosper police officers will surprise drivers following safety laws within the city with $10 gift cards next week in a program aimed at recognizing good driving habits. Gary McHone, the city's assistant police chief, said the program is a way to recognize people in the community.
“We realize that most people already follow traffic laws and are good drivers,” he said, “but it's just an opportunity to give them a token of our appreciation.”
The program begins Monday and continues until Friday. The police department plans on given out 10 cards per day during that time period to drivers who employ safe driving habits, such as wearing their seat belts and using turn signals. Officers will focus on drivers traveling through school zones.
Drivers will not be pulled over to receive their gift cards, but rather approached by an officer on foot after they've parked their vehicle. Last year, drivers were approached in the parking lots of various school campuses across the city.
The gift cards can be used anywhere credit cards are accepted. No tax money will be used for the program, as funding for the cards came from donations the department received throughout the year. The program is in its second year and originated with McHone, who modeled it after initiatives he heard about at other police departments.
“By far, most Prosper residents are aware of, and strictly follow, traffic laws,” said Erin Hubbard, police community relations officer, in a release from the city. “We want to say thanks to a few of those who do by giving them a small gesture of our appreciation.”
McHone added in the release that safe drivers are already rewarded with fewer accidents, no citations and creating a safe environment for others.
The police department is also in the midst of another annual community service project that will give gift cards to local families in need. Cops With the Clause, which is in its 11th year, will award cards to families selected by volunteers through an application process run through Prosper ISD. Last year, $500 gift cards were given to the families selected, though the amount will likely be smaller this year because of available funds, McHone said.
For more information, visit www.prospertx.org.
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