Some drivers got an unexpected gift when Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck pulled them over for distracted driving Thursday. Instead of writing a ticket, he warned about the dangers of distracted driving and sent drivers off with a gift card to spread some holiday cheer.
Beck documented his day with officers from the Los Angeles Police Department's Van Nuys and Valley Traffic divisions Thursday on Instagram and Twitter, as he and two other motor officers looked for distracted drivers.
In an Instagram post Beck wrote, "We conducted a traffic stop, and explained to him that we wanted him to get home safe to his family for the holidays. No ticket was given, just a gift card to help spread some holiday cheer."
Distractions to drivers are a factor in over 5,000 fatal traffic crashes every year, according to the AAA Foundation.
Texts and calls are not the only things that can distract drivers, AAA noted. Eating, "in-car technologies" and passengers riding in a car can all serve as distractions also.
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The police chief thanked motorists on Instagram for being "open to [their] message and legitimately respectful," before reminding motorists to drive safe and "arrive alive."