From the Department of Bad Ideas

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

Rancho Cordova, California:

Motorists may be in for a surprise if they spot flashing red lights in their rearview mirrors in this Sacramento suburb during the holiday season.

Police are stopping law-abiding motorists and rewarding their good driving with $5 Starbucks gift cards.

A traffic officer came up with the idea to “promote the holiday spirit and enhance goodwill between the traffic unit and the motoring public,” police Sgt. Tim Curran said.

Seems like there’s a couple of these stories every December.

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12 Responses to “From the Department of Bad Ideas”

  1. #1 |  Rick | 

    If I was stopped to get a free coffee from Star Bucks, I’d be relieved but I’d still be a little pissed.

    If I’m such a good samaritan driver, make it worth my time and cough up a 50 dollar gift certificate.

  2. #2 |  Santa S.W.A.T. | 

    While I suppose this is well-intentioned, the extra stress it will put on people is probably not worth the $5.00.

    Maybe the Minneapolis SWAT team should try to offset this week’s bad press with a similar tactic, by kicking down some doors in the middle of night, with no meaningful warning, and while dressed in black. And then after they throw everyone to the ground, stick guns in their faces, and scream profanities, they can hand over a plate of holiday cookies and a thermos of coco. Of course, if they shoot the dog, the festive mood will just be ruined; they’ll need to avoid that. (“Must … not … shoot … dog … but really … want to.”)

  3. #3 |  Ochressandro | 

    “Thanks for the $5 gift card, officer. Now I’m late to work and I’m going to get fired.”

  4. #4 |  Ochressandro | 

    “I just wanted to compliment you on your excellent driving GET ON THE GROUND OR YOU WILL BE TASED AGAIN!”

  5. #5 |  Persona non grata | 

    Our tax dollars at work.

  6. #6 |  Jason Briggeman | 

    If the motorist takes off, causing a high-speed chase, do they still get the $5?

  7. #7 |  roy | 

    Can I put the $5 towards my speeding ticket tab?

  8. #8 |  Andrew | 

    Hey, not a bad idea. For only $5 they get a free search of everyone’s car and person. I mean, you’ve got nothing to hide, so when they ask to search your car after handing over the $5, you’ve gotta say yes, right? No? Well we’re gonna have to get the cuffs out and bring out a few more cars. What a shame….

  9. #9 |  kurt nelson | 

    Here is a link to an article by Orin Kerr about good driver stops and the constitutionality of such stops. His take is that they are probably not.

  10. #10 |  jim | 

    “The program is sponsored by four local towing companies – Fast Response Towing, Allfam Towing, LJ’s Towing and Central Valley Towing – and Starbucks Coffee Co.”

    Imagine that.

  11. #11 |  Chris | 

    “9-1-1. What is your emergency?”
    “I just wanted to thank you and wish you a happy holidays. Could you send an officer to my house to pick up a plate of cookies?”

  12. #12 |  Leshrac | 

    Umm, since no laws are being broken and there are some awful stubborn people out there-what would happen if they didn’t pull over as they feel they have broken no laws? Or what would happen if they cussed out the cop as wasting their time? Or yes, what is the liability if someone loses their job over being late?
    Jerkoff fishing expenditions sugarcoated with gift cards. 200$ in coffee given out, 22 arrests for various offenses (no license, DUI, noncompliance, beligerent passengers, etc) that bring in couple thousand in fines. Who’s kidding who?