Good drivers receive gift cards in Texas town

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Traffic stop

Is it a citation or an award? Image: Culpeper County Sheriff's Office/Flickr/CC BY

Drivers in Prosper, Texas, are hoping to be approached by the police — at least they have been this last week. The police have been stopping exemplary drivers and rewarding them with $10 gift cards.

Good driving rewarded

Prosper Assistant Police Chief Gary McHone said in a statement that over the past week, Prosper officers have been on the lookout for drivers who are following the speed limit, wearing their seat-belts, coming to complete stops and otherwise successfully heeding the traffic rules, particularly in school zones. McHone said the cards are the city’s way of saying thanks to conscientious drivers.

“We wanted to give back to the community, to reinforce those safe driving habits,” McHone said.

It is also good PR for the department, which all-to-often is viewed as the agent of punishment rather than of safety. Plus, as McHone said, “It allows for a face-to-face with local residents.”

Drivers approached on foot

McHone said that the officers dispatching the cards were careful not to make the gift seem like a traffic stop. The officers, all on foot, staked out areas where they could safely approach vehicles. After witnessing a law-abiding driver, an officer would approach them on foot to offer the reward.

No taxpayer money spent

The 60 American Bank of Texas check cards themselves were bought with $600 from the community contribution fund, McHone said. That money is raised through a variety of community events and takes nothing from the taxpayers.

The card giveaway happened between Dec. 12 and 16 so that recipients of the cards would have time to use them for Christmas shopping. Friday, Dec. 16, was the last day for the card giveaway

Protecting and serving

“The old adage of ‘protecting and serving’ — it’s a highly used phrase, but this is an opportunity for us to put a different twist to the ‘serving’ part of it,” McHone said.

Prosper is a town of about 10,000 residents located about 30 miles north of Dallas.


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