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Texas town gives gift cards to good drivers

John Egan

You’re behind the wheel of your car and you spot a cop. Your mind starts racing: Did I do anything wrong? Am I going to get a ticket?

The fear is understandable. After all, a traffic ticket can carry a fine and ultimately can hike your car insurance premium.

In the town of Prosper, Texas, however, dozens of motorists have been rewarded for their good behind-the-wheel behavior. On Dec. 12, police officers in the Dallas suburb started passing out $10 gift cards to motorists who’ve exhibited proper driving habits.

Gary McHone, assistant police chief of Prosper, says officers aren’t pulling over motorists to hand out the gift cards. Rather, the cops are greeting drivers on foot in parking lots — primarily school pickup and drop-off areas.

Wes Weston is among the motorists who’ve gotten gift cards.

“There are some people out here that make me want to pull my ears off my head when they change lanes without turning their turn signal on, and I think it is very important,” Weston told KDAF-TV.

In all, the Prosper Police Department bought 60 gift cards for the giveaway. The $600 for the cards came from community donors.

McHone says the program provides “very positive reinforcement of safe driving habits.”

Police have been on the lookout for drivers who follow traffic rules like wearing seat belts, avoiding the use of cellphones in school zones and maintaining the proper speed. The town of Prosper has more than 10,000 residents.

“By far, most Prosper residents are aware of, and strictly follow, traffic laws,” McHone says. “We want to say thanks to a few of those who do by giving them a small gesture of our appreciation.”

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