The Raleigh Police Department partnered with Advance Auto Parts auto shop during the holiday season to help drivers cited for minor vehicle violations make repairs on their car.
Raleigh police are getting into the spirit of giving by handing out gift cards instead of citations to drivers pulled over for having a burned-out turn signal, a broken license plate lamp light or a broken taillight.
This is the second year in a row Advance Auto Parts has partnered with local police for the holidays to help the community. The auto shop has given $5,000 worth of gift cards for police officers to distribute.
“The officers can pull somebody over for a non-moving vehicle violation, maybe a broken taillight, headlight, and then they can choose to give the motorist, instead of walking up with a ticket, they give you a gift card,” Elisabeth Eisleben, senior vice president of communications and community affairs for the company, told WRAL.
Raleigh Police Chief Estella Patterson said the program aims to help alleviate people’s financial burdens this time of year.
“They think about, OK, I have to make a decision between paying for the repair or paying for the citation the officer has issued,: she said. “That’s a huge burden on people.”
The police chief recently surprised a patron with a $25 gift card at the Advance Auto Parts location on Wake Forest Road in Raleigh.
“Somebody stole my tag, and when I went to DMV, I needed to get an inspection to get another tag and my check engine light was on,” said the customer, Denise. “They told me what it was, and then I got a gift card so I just bought some stuff to put in my gas.”
In the end, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Patterson said the larger goal is to help motorists comply with road safety laws.