Wednesday, June 20, 2012 | 1:18 p.m.
Something has to change in Nevada. We’ve moved on from just having truly crappy drivers to starting to kill people in record numbers. As of this writing, traffic deaths in Clark County stood at 91, a number we didn’t reach last year until late October. That includes pedestrians, motorcyclists, vehicle occupants—a wide spectrum of roadside fatalities. So the state’s Office of Traffic Safety is trying something new. Now, whenever you’re stopped for a traffic violation, you might get a ticket, you might get a warning, but you might also get … free tickets to a 51s baseball game! It’s a “reward” system to reinforce good behavior. You must be doing one of these four things to receive a reward: 1. Wear a seat belt; 2. Wear a helmet (motorcyclists); 3. Follow pedestrian protocol (drivers and pedestrians); 4. Avoid driving while intoxicated, by, say, taking a taxi or using a designated driver. “We can do all the enforcement money can pay for, but until the public gets it engrained in their heads that no one can change this behavior but them, nothing will change,” says Valerie Evans of the OTS. There are only 500 baseball tickets available, but the OTS is currently reaching out to other sponsors to keep the pilot program going. Free stuff, good life lessons, a more friendly spirit to traffic stops and potentially saved lives ... what’s not to like?