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April 20, 2014

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Pulled over by police? You might just get free 51s tickets

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Leila Navidi

Officer William Gibbs of Las Vegas Metro Police’s Traffic Bureau gives a citation to Humberto Hernandez for driving while using his cell phone near the intersection of Flamingo Road and Maryland Parkway in Las Vegas on Friday, Jan. 6, 2012.

For once, some good can come from being pulled over by a traffic officer in Clark County — that is if other safety rules are followed.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, local law enforcement will carry extra ticket books for vehicles they pull over for traffic violations. While a citation may be issued, the officer can opt to pass out free tickets to a Las Vegas 51s game if the driver is otherwise being safe.

Valerie Evans, who works in police, community and marketing services for the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety, said behaviors that will be rewarded include:

• Wearing a seatbelt.

• Utilizing a designated driver after a night of drinking.

• Following proper pedestrian protocol.

• Wearing a safety helmet on a motorcycle.

The joint effort between the office of traffic safety and the Las Vegas 51s is designed to combat the growing rate of motorist fatalities after five years of decreases. Evans said pedestrian deaths are already quadruple last year’s total at this time, and it could be worse in the summer, when traffic increases and more people are outside.

“We’re always looking for how to reach the public and get them to understand it is their responsibility to change it,” Evans said of the rising rates. “We can do all the public campaigning forever but until there is a change in behavior, (traffic fatalities) won’t go away.”

The campaign will last at least 30 days or until all the tickets are given out. Evans said the reasons tickets are passed out will be tallied at the end to determine what rules motorists are following or need to be following.

“It’s a little twist, a little reward to do something right,” Evans said. “And maybe it will encourage (people) to do the rest of things right — we’re hoping.”

Evans said this isn’t the first time the department has collaborated with other organizations to promote public safety. Two years ago it passed out music download cards to teenage drivers who wore seatbelts.

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  1. 1)there goes probable cause...now they can be as nosy as they want by claiming it's in the name of good

    2)to think we have to layoff teachers so cops making $xx a year can give out free sports tickets

    3)another reason to pull over a hot chickie if she's not breaking no law

    this stuff just keeps getting better n better i swear

  2. "Valerie Evans, who works in police, community and marketing services for the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety, said behaviors that will be rewarded include....."

    Anybody else get the feeling the state is treating us like school kids??

    Instead it needs to respect us for what we are, the source of their authority to exist and operate. Example -- I live across the street from a school. It has the usual blinking yellow lights that come on announcing a 15 mph school zone. The school closed last week for the year. Yet the lights were on the day after and Metro was pulling over drivers for speeding. I heard about a neighbor who recently got that kind of a ticket -- $900, and it's a felony. It's obvious those lights aren't there to protect, they're to pay the state's bills and remind us who's in charge.

    "Fear is the foundation of most governments." - John Adams "Thoughts on Government" (1776)

  3. KillerB,

    You are leaving some FACTS out of your story. For your neighbor to have been charged with a Felony and fine of $900 there was a lot more to it then "speeding in a school zone". You like to look up NRS's, read and see.

  4. "For your neighbor to have been charged with a Felony and fine of $900 there was a lot more to it then "speeding in a school zone". "

    vegasless -- perhaps. But I fought a traffic ticket last year and researched it extensively. There was nothing in the charging statute or its chapter providing any notice whatsoever what the offense level was -- violation, misdemeanor, etc. Given this state's police-heavy administration, I'm not surprised. Even though it's a serious due process violation. And the city attorney ignored all requests for clarification.

    There's still the issue of why Metro was ticketing motorists for speeding past a closed school -- normally it's 35, not 15. The threshold questions include how are the lights controlled and their purpose -- to give a lawful notice or an excuse for tickets?

    "If the exercise of constitutional rights will thwart the effectiveness of a system of law enforcement, then there is something very wrong with that system." -- Escobedo v. State of Illinois, 378 U.S. 478, 490 (1964)

  5. This is a much better policy than the former. I would much rather have a ticket to 51's game than a bullet in the brain.

  6. Did anyone else notice that ALL four examples of 'good driving behaviors' are against the law if not followed? I'm betting that even if you get pulled over for 'good' reasons, they do a full check of you and your vehicle, even if they didn't have any criminal PC to do so. Sounds like they are fishing for offenders they can't visually identify.

  7. To those commenting on being "pulled over" for being good, and then getting scrutinized (big brother, etc....).
    The article seems to imply that the sports tickets will be given to one who has been pulled over for a violation (say speeding for example), but may be given the sports tickets (along with the speeding ticket) as a reward for wearing their seat belt while they were speeding.
    It does not imply that drivers will be pulled over solely for giving out the sports tickets.
    Will they also pull one over specifically for "being good" so as to reward them with baseball tickets? (and then possibly "give them a closer vehicle check", "fishing", etc., as has been suggested).
    Maybe the editor or writer (Brian Nordli) can clarify this?