If you're a driver in Seattle, it pays to be a good one. Thanks to the city's Vision Zero
initiative, which was launched earlier this year to reduce traffic fatalities to zero by the year 2030, some motorists who abide by traffic laws are being rewarded with $5 Starbucks gift cards at several locations throughout Seattle.
The gift cards are funded by a state grant aimed at increasing safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. The original idea to give gift cards to motivate and reward good driving behavior started in 2012 when Seattle Police Department officer Captain Richard Belshay was about to retire. Belshay, whose wife was hit by a driver who failed to stop at a crosswalk years earlier, decided to purchase a number of $10 gift cards from a local restaurant and decided to hand them out to drivers who stopped for pedestrians. Belshay rewarded a total of 34 people within an hour.
Most recently, Seattle city council member Tom Rasmussen, suggested the city adopt Belshay's original idea as part of the city's new Vision Zero initiative.
Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation, Scott Kubly, who participated in giving out gift cards to good drivers at a local elementary school and on the Fremont Bridge, told CityLab that the effort to reward good driving and promote safe driving is"very earnest on the West Coast." He added that in addition to handing out gift cards to more than 200 people, the program allowed him and fellow Department of Transportation staff and police officers to talk to many locals about demonstrating safe and positive traffic behavior.