Getting pulled over can be a real headache for drivers. However, this holiday season fees for a traffic citation in Elk County isn't coming from your wallet but from your heart.
The St Marys Police Department is waiving minor traffic citations for unwrapped toys. The drivers will receive what looks like a ticket, but instead it's asking drivers for a donation. It states "In the spirit of the holidays, we are waiving the issuance of a citation, in hopes that you will drop off an unwrapped toy to our Police Department."
"The police officers in this department are not out to just to hammer traffic violations and hammer traffic citations day in and day out. That they do have hearts," explains St Marys Police Chief, Thomas Nicklas.
All the toys collected will go towards "Project Gifts" a non profit that hands out toys to children within the Elk County community. Drivers were excited to hear the donations will stay local. "When it's going to the local kids I think that's going to make a difference and I'm on my way to Walmart so I'll probably pick something up," explains Karly Peterson.
This is the first year the department is participating and word is quickly spreading around town. Drivers have already dropped off gifts. ""I think it's a good program they're trying to do with the community and everything. I think we need more of that," explains St Marys resident, Mike Perry.
The officers say drivers are not required to make a donation. "There's no obligation we don't expect that people are automatically going to come down to the station and make a donation," adds Nicklas.
The warning doesn't count for every violation. Tickets will still be handed out for safety penalties like speeding and running a red light.
The department says it is not required to be pulled over to donate. They are accepting unwrapped gifts directly at their station located at 319 Erie Ave, St Marys.