Traffic Safety through Vouchers Instead of citations is Focus of Program Set to Start in Salem

Posted on June 28, 2022

DATE: June 28, 2022

Salem, Ore. — The Salem Police Department is now participating in the Oregon Car Care Program, a project that focuses on improving traffic safety by helping drivers correct minor equipment violations with a discount voucher.

Effective today, officers will issue vouchers for infractions related to equipment which by law is required to function properly on a vehicle, such as lighting, rearview mirrors, windshield wipers, and fenders or mudguards. The vouchers, redeemable at various stores in the area, provide a 20% discount to the vehicle owner, making it easier for them to get the necessary equipment to drive safely.

“With the Car Care program, we have an opportunity to address equipment violations through education and cooperation, rather than a citation,” said Salem Police Chief Trevor Womack. 

Improved traffic safety is highlighted in the Salem Police Department’s three-year strategic plan which includes developing efforts to direct traffic enforcement toward serious moving violations that result in collisions and away from mere equipment violations.

The Car Care Program was developed by the Oregon State Police in 2016 with the focus of assisting drivers who defer automobile maintenance costs. In 2019, the program was centralized through the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police as a way to extend the benefits to agencies throughout the state.

“For us, the program also offers another critical component to our community’s safety and that’s relationship-building and trust,” explained the police chief. “By expanding the approach to interactions with the public, officers also have a chance to offer some understanding to drivers who find themselves having to put off car upkeep, while also reminding drivers about the importance of traffic safety.”

Womack noted, “Having a conversation without a citation can go a long way to increased understanding, as well as building trust with the community.”

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