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July 18. 2013 9:00PM

Manchester police, Fisher Cats team up to reward safe drivers

MANCHESTER — Every day, Manchester police pull over drivers and write out tickets.

On Thursday, the ticket turned out to be the pleasant kind — the one that gets the holder into a baseball game.

Working in conjunction with police, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats gave away 600 tickets to motorists who were buckled up while driving through downtown.

Police signaled drivers to pull over, and T-shirted Fisher Cat volunteers offered them the choice of tickets for three upcoming games.

“I thought there was a roadblock or something,” said Manchester resident John Cunningham after police on Lake Avenue directed him to pull over. He got four tickets — one for every person in his car.

New Hampshire law prohibits anyone under 18 from driving or riding in a car without a safety belt.

Police Officer Mark Aquino said he frequently tickets drivers when he sees kids not properly buckled or not in child-safety seats.Aquino said the Manchester police invited the Fisher Cats to participate in the effort. A few months ago, the New Hampshire Speedway gave away tickets at the same location.“It’s just something good in the community we do,” said Jenna Raizes, director of marketing and public affairs for the Fisher Cats. “The Manchester Police Department just helps us so much. This just seems like a good initiative.”The ticket giveaway took place at the corner of Lake Avenue and Elm Street. It started about 10 a.m. and went on for about an hour.

Lowell, Mass., resident Aharona Wildes said she wondered if everything was OK when she saw police on the corners of the intersection. When she asked a police officer, he directed her to pull over. Of course she had her safety belt on, she said.

“I always wear it,” she said, “not to mention this is a new car and I can’t stand the dinging sound.”

mhayward@unionleader.com


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