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- A report that police officers in Tempe, Arizona, would be pulling over good drivers as part of a safe-driving campaign has got Twitter simmering.
- Critics pointed out that such a promotion could prove to be both stressful and dangerous for drivers.
- Cops will be handing out coupons for free Circle K drinks in Tempe, but they will not be flagging down drivers as part of this campaign.
- "One thing we definitely want to reiterate on this campaign that we are definitely not going to be pulling cars over," Detective Greg Bacon told AZFamily.com.
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A bike and scooter safety promotion by police in Tempe, Arizona, has garnered an internet reaction as scorching as a free cup of Circle K hot chocolate.
The controversy appears to have started with a report from a local NBC affiliate station, which said that police would be teaming up with the local Circle K to reward citizens "for good driving behavior when it comes to pedestrian or bicycle-related traffic laws." Coupons labeled "Operation Freeze" would entitle the recipient to a free Froster, while individuals who received an "Operation Heat" coupon could pick up a free medium hot chocolate or another hot beverage.
The campaign is part of Tempe’s "Vision Zero" program, which seeks to eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries in the city.
Many commenters took away the idea that Tempe police would be pulling over drivers complying with traffic laws as part of the campaign.
Critics proceeded to blast the idea of pulling over cars to hand out Circle K coupons, calling it unconstitutional, dangerous, and incredibly stress-inducing for drivers.
But a clip from AZFamily.com refutes the general perception of the Tempe Police Department’s program.
"One thing we definitely want to reiterate on this campaign that we are definitely not going to be pulling cars over," Detective Greg Bacon told AZFamily.com.
"We are going to be having consensual contact with citizens on the street … If you see an officer out and about and he walks up to talk to you or she walks up to talk to you, it’s probably because he or she wants to talk to you about some of the traffic laws. Ride with the flow of traffic, wear a helmet, wear a bike light at night, if you have a scooter, we ask that you please ride in the bike lane when one is provided."
Circle K has not responded to Business Insider’s request for comment. Tempe police responded to a comment request by saying that they would be putting out more clarifying information at a later time.
The confusion still set off viral outrage against the "positive ticketing" campaign, with critics weighing in with concerns about police breaking the law, inconveniencing drivers, and overstepping boundaries.
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