Police department offers free fix for burnt-out car lights - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police department offers free fix for burnt-out car lights

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

One area police department is teaming up with local repair shops to get people's car lights fixed for free.

New Iowa City Police Chief, Jody Matherly, got the idea from another department in Minneapolis. The program is called B.U.L.B.S! or "Building Unity Linking Businesses for Safety." When an officer makes a traffic stop for a burnt-out light, they can offer a B.U.L.B.S! voucher for them to get it replaced, at no cost to the driver.

Iowa City Police Lieutenant, Denise Brotherton, said the idea is to help people who may already be struggling by not adding an additional financial burden on them, while keeping the roads still safe.

"There's people out there who can't because of what's going on in their lives, and it just builds that frustration because you'll continue to get pulled over until you get that light fixed," Brotherton said.

Drivers can take the voucher to one of the ten participating local repair shops, who will replace it for them.

She said it's also a good way to create a conversation between police officers and drivers, and to end the traffic stop on a positive note for them.

"It's just not that traffic stop where we just walk away, 'Hey, get it fixed,' and then we pull you over the next night. It's 'What is going on with you? Is there someway we can help you?'," Brotherton said.

Vouchers are good for 30 days. The police department pays for the replacement costs through their civil forfeiture funds.

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