Lights On! is a community-driven program with the mission to heal police-community relationships by replacing equipment violation tickets with repair vouchers redeemable at partnered auto shops.
Instead of receiving a citation for minor vehicle violations, qualified individuals with valid driver’s licenses and insurance will be eligible to receive vouchers covering up to $250 for the repair of inoperable headlights, taillights, turn signals, or license plate lights at vetted repair shops.
The program launched last week in the East Aldine area. The program has seen success in other law enforcement jurisdictions across the United States.
“For some families, a broken taillight or turn signal can sometimes mean choosing between a minor auto repair and buying groceries, said Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. “A citation for these minor offenses can lead to further financial strain. This program gives deputies a useful tool to engage with drivers and offer a helpful solution, rather than a ticket or fine.”
The Lights On! initiative will expand to other districts in the coming months. Lights On! has partnered with 163 law enforcement agencies across 21 states and has already surpassed the milestone of 10,000 vouchers redeemed, resulting in 10,000 restorative interactions and 10,000 safer cars on the road.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Foundation plays an integral role in the collaboration helping to ensure the successful implementation of the program. “Anytime the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Foundation has an opportunity to improve and strengthen the relationship between the public and the law enforcers, we will gladly pursue it. This program will be a small but important part of this process,” said Franco Valobra, Founding Member and Chairman.
John M. Harrington, CEO of Lights On!, emphasized the program’s effectiveness in building trust and enhancing community-police interactions. “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 deputies a new tool on their tool belt that enhances trust and creates positive interactions.”
The Lights On! program is supported by its parent organization, MicroGrants, and community donations. Interested local auto service providers can sign up to be a Lights On! service location at LightsOnUS.Org/auto-shops. These vouchers are not available “on-demand” to the public. To learn more or donate, visit LightsOnUS.Org.