Seattle Officials Use Gift Cards to Reward Safe Drivers

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on June 30, 2015

Seattle Driving SafetySeattle officers use traffic tickets to deter unsafe driving habits. The assumption is that drivers will avoid speeding or driving while distracted if they might face heavy fines when caught. According to a City Lab news report, Seattle officials are now trying to encourage safe driving by rewarding good behavior. This June, officers and Seattle Department of Transportation staffers took to the street to give out $5 Starbuck gift cards to drivers who obeyed the law at several different locations. They specifically targeted areas near schools, busy bridge crossings and protected bike lanes.

The idea for this project began three years ago when Captain Richard Belshay started handing out gift cards from a local restaurant to drivers who came to a complete stop for pedestrians. The idea was to reward safe drivers and to show some gratitude to strangers who did the right thing. Three years later, his idea is now part of Seattle’s Vision Zero initiative.

A number of cities have joined Seattle in striving towards zero traffic fatalities. The Vision Zero philosophy typically involves reducing speeds on roads with a lot of foot traffic, increasing law enforcement, and educating the public on traffic safety.

There are many ways to go about pursuing zero traffic fatalities, but Seattle may be the only place where officers are rewarding good behavior. The director of the Seattle Department of Transportation personally handed out gift cards to parents who dropped off elementary school children in designated zones and not across the street where it is more dangerous. Families who walked and biked to school safely were rewarded as well.

As city officials attempt to make our streets safer, remember that there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Always drive at a safe speed, put away your cell phone, never drive while impaired, and leave plenty of space between vehicles. It is also advisable to report dangerous behavior and to avoid motorists who are speeding, weaving through traffic or driving erratically.

If you are ever involved in a Seattle car accident, make sure you remain at the crash site and call the authorities. After gathering evidence and seeking out medical attention, do not hesitate to research your legal options. Financial support may be available for your considerable pain and suffering. To learn more and get started on you claim, contact Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. as soon as possible.

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