If you’re driving a vehicle or walking in Santa Monica you may be issued a “ticket” by police for doing nothing illegal, but the “ticket” is a $20 “ticket” gift card valid at Santa Monica Place.

As part of a Safe Driver Ticket campaign, the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) is partnering with Santa Monica Place to reward drivers who operate their vehicles safely during this holiday season and pedestrians who use crosswalks properly.

The campaign — which began Wednesday, December 1st, and runs through Christmas — will reward drivers who are “observed being courteous, cautious and promoting public safety” by giving out the gift certificates.

Santa Monica Police Sergeant Jay Trisler says this is the second year of the Safe Driver Ticket campaign.

Trisler says that police officers are not pulling over drivers, but rather pulling up alongside vehicles and asking drivers if they mind pulling over to talk.

“There are no sirens involved, drivers are pulling over consensually,” said Trisler.

Trisler said that as of Friday, December 3rd, seven Safe Driver Tickets had been issued.

“We have 100 tickets to give out,” he said.

When asked if it was considered by the police department to record a Safe Driver license plate information and mail the gift certificate to the driver, rather than asking the driver to pull over, Trisler said, “no.”

“It is consensual,” Trisler emphasized.

Trisler said that of the seven drivers and pedestrians issued Safe Driver Tickets, not one has complained of being inconvenienced or impeded.

The Santa Monica Police Department encourages everyone to park and drive safely at all times, but with the extra pressures of the holiday season, driving can be stressful, police say.

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