For years, law enforcement officers in the city of Seattle—much like nearly everywhere else in the country—have been handing out traffic tickets to those who violate the rules of the road in order to prevent car accidents. Now, the city has decided to implement a new strategy; in addition to tickets to poor drivers, safe drivers are being handed a gift card.
Incentivizing Safe Driving Habits
The idea began in 2012, when Captain Richard Belshay—whose wife had been hit by a car – decided to do something a little differently. Rather than targeting drivers who failed to stop at crosswalks, which had been his and other officers’ rule for years, Belshay purchased a stack of $10 gift cards. Then, he waited at crosswalks and handed out the gift cards to those—both drivers and cyclists alike—who did the right thing and yielded to pedestrians.
Now, in 2015, the city of Seattle is taking a page out of Belshay’s book. As part of their Vision Zero initiative—which hopes to eliminate traffic fatalities entirely by the year 2030—the city will be handing out $5 Starbucks gift cards to safe drivers.
Areas of Seattle Where Gift Cards are Being Given Out
The gift cards will be distributed in parts of Seattle where pedestrian and cyclists’ safety is most crucial.
- Intersections (brush up on your right of way rules)
- Bridge crossings
- Bike lanes
- School zones
Even kids behaving well in school zones can get a prize. For kids, though, gift cards have been replaced with coloring books, crayons, and reflective key chains. Rewards were all funded by a grant, and are being handed out by volunteers.
The hope is that the rewards will remind drivers, pedestrians, and bikers of the importance of safety on Seattle’s roads, encouraging them to following traffic laws and put away distractions.
Improve Your Own Actions While Driving, Walking, or Biking
If you drive, walk, or bike in Seattle, make an effort to do so as safely as possible. To get you started, read our car accidents blog on safe summer driving tips and how to maintain your vehicle.
If you ever are in an accident involving a motor vehicle and suffer injuries or damages, don’t hesitate to call an attorney to help you negotiate a settlement amount. At Max Meyers Law PLLC, we can help you file a claim for compensation. To discuss your claim with us today, call 425-399-7000 now.