Are you concerned with the speed your car was driving?
Do you fear for your very life?
What if the officer actually told you, you've been pulled over for "good" driving and they're here to give you a coupon to reward you? That'd be great right?
Yeah, I didn't think so.
Local 12 News reported that police in Tempe, Arizona were starting a plan to pull over citizens to reward them for following traffic laws. They planned to give them "Positive Tickets" that can be redeemed at Circle K for a free drink.
In a video tweet that has since been deleted, 12 News described the program.
This is distressing to say the least.
As it stands, there are many concerns with police abusing their power to illegally stop citizens. However, even if you assume the best-case scenario, you just have cops stopping random citizens for no reason.
There's a lot to be said about a plan to have cops pulling over law abiding citizens.
@twitersgoodboy @12News Even if you assume they're acting in good faith and completely ignore the Constitutional is… https://t.co/4005Wlgvhm— Stephen (@Stephen)1564414848.0
My reaction is if they don’t have reasonable suspicion that the driver has violated a traffic law, pulling them ove… https://t.co/S3UJTi4cfj— southpaw (@southpaw)1564416860.0
Officer: I pulled you over today because you *followed* the law. Citizen: Huh? O: You will get a free drink at Ci… https://t.co/yVTuoRsf4H— Matt K. (@Matt K.)1564420073.0
Literally the worst idea ever lord I never wanna drive my car again https://t.co/tp4vs2pPxK— Coltin Anderson (@Coltin Anderson)1564445743.0
what a cute way to check people’s papers https://t.co/KOwj8EiIEJ— jason c. (@jason c.)1564417394.0
Boss: So, why were you late today? Me, inhaling a polar pop: pulled over. https://t.co/cg1jgIiDYK— Sioux (@Sioux)1564443234.0
However, people might have jumped to conclusions. The reason the original video was deleted by 12 News was because of this misunderstanding.
Tempe Police have since clarified that their program was never planned for car drivers. Instead this "positive ticketing" was only going to be for bicyclists and pedestrians.
That's better, right?
We have removed this tweet because Tempe police have since clarified how this program will work. Read more here:… https://t.co/VavucpmlVy— 12 News (@12 News)1564440967.0
Positive Ticketing Campaign: the purpose of the event is to positively engage with the public regarding laws pertai… https://t.co/djtMxIY58p— Tempe Police (@Tempe Police)1564421372.0
Tempe Police Department clarified to say officers won't be pulling over drivers, but officers will find opportuniti… https://t.co/MNYJLQRJJL— 12 News (@12 News)1564430624.0
That is not better.
We still have a program designed for law enforcement to stop people obeying the law. The problem people pointed out had nothing to do with the program affecting drivers.
Even if the "positive ticketing program" is only for pedestrians and cyclists, it's still wrong. No one wants to have their day interrupted for a 99 cent drink.
And people still think this is a tojan horse for police to investigate random people.
@12News Still no.— Dr. Jack Ryan (@Dr. Jack Ryan)1564430698.0
I've seen this go from pulling over good drivers (Illegal and unconstitutional), to stopping pedestrians and cyclis… https://t.co/cxgW7XzbXU— Aspiring Nematode Wrangler (@Aspiring Nematode Wrangler)1564431870.0
Still a threat. https://t.co/GvaG0FbMPz— General Stryker (@General Stryker)1564432343.0
Perhaps they could find opportunities to engage and educate themselves on civil rights? Maybe take a minute of the… https://t.co/L2VKdmJkwv— Stereotype Accuracy Denier (@Stereotype Accuracy Denier)1564431738.0
Police have an uphill battle with public perception, but stopping legal citizens is not the way to improve it. While they've claimed this is about consensual interactions with the community, it's hard to see how a cop stopping you to talk feels very optional.
Hopefully, the backlash has convinced the department to head back to the drawing board. Might I suggest a planned community event, rather than interrupting someone's day?