Police to issue gift cards, not fines, for minor road violations

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Courtesy Advance Auto Parts

Advance Auto Parts of Grand Rapids teamed up with the Walker Police Department and Kent County Sheriff’s Office to promote road safety in greater Grand Rapids.

The automotive aftermarket parts retailer at 3737 Alpine Ave. NW presented Walker police officers and Kent County sheriff deputies with a $1,500 gift card donation to each department. The donations will enable law enforcement to “pay it forward” by issuing a $25 gift card to motorists with minor vehicle equipment violations to safely repair headlights, taillights and other issues.

“Our team in the Grand Rapids area is thrilled to join forces with Walker Police and Kent County Sheriff’s Office to promote safer vehicle operations,” said Scott Sakalo, Advance Auto Parts vice president of operations. “Safety on our roadways is critical, and we look forward to this unique collaboration with law enforcement. We’re excited to serve motorists in the community, providing parts, products and friendly advice to help residents maintain their vehicles.”

Rather than issuing a fine associated with traditional traffic tickets, law enforcement will give a “fix-it” ticket for tracking purposes only, with the sole requirement that the driver uses the gift card to repair their vehicle.

“The Walker Police Department is always open to creative ways of partnering with local businesses like Advance Auto Parts to benefit the community we serve,” said Capt. Brandyn Heugel, Walker Police Department.

Motorists issued a gift card may purchase required car parts at any Advance Auto Parts location in Michigan or online.

“Our mission is to protect the safety of Kent County residents, and this program with Advance Auto Parts is helping do just that,” said Undersheriff Chuck Dewitt, Kent County Sheriff’s Office. “Our deputies are looking forward to being able to help drivers out with a gift card rather than a ticket. We expect this to mean more fixes and safer roadways — which is especially welcome during the busy, icy holiday season.”

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