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November 29, 2015

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


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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