Edmonton police have added a new weapon to their traffic enforcement arsenal – rewards for good drivers.
On Thursday traffic officers throughout the city were flagging down drivers they observed following the rules of the road.
"We want to recognize people’s safe driving efforts today by rewarding them with a $5 gas coupon," says Acting Inspector Dave Barry of the Edmonton Police Service.
This is the first time city police have pursued the positive reinforcement approach, and drivers seem to appreciate the effort – once they realize what’s happening.
"I’m sure people, when they’re first flagged over are a little concerned about why they’re being stopped, but we immediately try to reassure them we’re just trying to reward their safe driving habits," Barry says.
The reward initiative is just part of a much larger effort. Police are in the midst of a 24-hour speeding blitz.
"There will be speeding sites set up all over to ensure that now that it’s summer and the roads are drier that we don’t speed," Barry says.
That tendency to speed up when roads dry up was clearly demonstrated on Thursday, when officers clocked one driver going 159 kilometres per hour in an 80 zone. Another driver received a $703 ticket for doing 100 km/h in a 50 zone.