STOUGHTON (WKOW)-- The Stoughton Police Department set up a pedestrian safety trap Saturday afternoon, but they weren't only giving out tickets to reckless drivers. City officials gave out tickets to the good drivers too. Except those tickets sent drivers home with a free coffee maker instead of a fine.
When the City of Stoughton was given 25 free coffee makers the idea was to put them to good use. They decided to use them to promote safe driving in downtown. Each driver they encountered who stopped for pedestrians in the cross walk was given a free coffee maker on Saturday afternoon.
In 2011, police say a pedestrian was injured or killed every seven hours in Wisconsin. Pedestrian safety is especially important in Stoughton because state highway 51 runs right through downtown.
"We have a lot of heavy traffic and a lot of pedestrian activity so we're doing everything we can to raise that awareness," Stoughton Police Chief Greg Leck says.
You may be wondering, what's the connection between coffee makers and pedestrian safety? Well, the coffee break is actually said to have been invented in Stoughton. It all started back in the day when women started to get more involved in the local work force.
"They would go home mid-afternoon and have a cup of coffee while they got things ready for dinner later and that became the coffee break," Stoughton Mayor Donna Olson says.
At the end of their "Give Them a Break" campaign, officers and volunteers gave out 25 free coffee makers and only one citation.
Stoughton police say they've had several pedestrian accidents over the years. The most recent involved an elderly woman who was hit and killed in August. Officers are hoping to cut down on accidents through education and awareness.
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