UWPD Partners with Lights On! to Provide Free Repair Vouchers to Drivers

The UW-Madison Police Department is proud to announce a special and unique partnership with Lights On! to help motorists avoid mechanical violation citations, while also receiving a voucher for a free repair. The program also aims to further enhance police-community relationships.

Through the program, when a UWPD officer is engaging in a routine traffic stop involving a mechanical violation — a burned out light bulb, broken turn signal, etc. — instead of issuing a ticket for the violation, the officer can provide a voucher for free repair at a participating local auto repair shop.

“We are proud to bring this program to our community,” UWPD Interim Chief Brent Plisch said. “For some families, a broken taillight or turn signal can sometimes mean choosing between a minor auto repair and buying groceries. A citation for these minor offenses can lead to further financial strain and will most likely lead to additional contacts with law enforcement. This program gives officers a useful tool to engage with drivers and offer a helpful solution, rather than a ticket or fine.”

“As a former Police Chief and the MN Commissioner of Public Safety, the simplicity and effectiveness of Lights On! is second to none,” says John M. Harrington, CEO of Lights On!. “Instead of punishing drivers for broken lights, we can fix the mechanical issue and mitigate what often becomes a downward spiral for community members in need. We are giving officers a new tool on their toolbelt that enhances trust and creates positive community police interactions. ”

UWPD is the first police department in Wisconsin to partner with Lights On!. Lights On! is partnered with 163 law enforcement agencies across 21 states and has 10,000 repair voucher redeemed. That’s 10,000 restorative interactions and 10,000 safer cars on the road.

The Lights On! program is supported by its parent organization, MicroGrants, and via community donations. To learn more or donate, visit the Lights On! website. Interested local auto service providers can sign up to be a Lights On! service location here.