It’s all too easy to view a police officer as someone to fear instead of a helping hand when you’re in need. After all, these are the people who hand out speeding tickets, make arrests for drunk driving, and show up in the middle of sticky situations, so it’s easy to think that police are only there when things go wrong.
But your local law enforcement wants you to know that they are also there for good times, not just bad, and they notice when things go right too. That’s why police officers in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan recently paired up with MADD members to help promote safety and reward good behavior.
Together they went to Carlton Comprehensive Public High School and, instead of handing out tickets for things like speeding, they handed out free prizes for good driving. It’s called positive-ticketing, and it’s a campaign that ran in conjunction with National Road Safety Week.
There’s a few reasons why police want to visit high schools like this. To start, it helps a high school student see the human side of the police officer. Instead of someone to fear, they might see their presence as positive. Handing out prizes for something like good driving can also reinforce good driving skills, and that can help a teen avoid arrests for drunk driving and other illegal driving activities.
It’s a small step, but it’s one Saskatchewan needs. The province is widely known as a hot spot for impaired driving, and over the past few months Saskatchewan lawmakers have taken steps to crack down on drunk drivers with longer ignition interlock programs for offenders, impounding of vehicles, and zero tolerance for teen drunk drivers.
Hopefully this campaign helps Saskatchewan teens realize the positive steps police officers take every day to make their lives safer, and they are reminded of that every time they get behind the wheel.