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'I got caught!'

Tony Schmidt of North Ambulance handed a card for a free music download to a Jefferson High School student last Thursday. Students who were wearing their seat belts were rewarded as they left the school parking lot. (Photo by Lowell Anderson)

Dozens of students leaving the Jefferson High School parking lot were "ticketed" last Thursday for doing something right: Wearing their seat belt.

The teens who were caught were rewarded with free music download cards, free Dairy Queen coupons or free Mystery Ride tickets to the Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America.

The "I Got Caught" program is a partnership between the American Automobile Association (AAA), the Minnesota Sheriff's Association and the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association.

The goal is to create a positive reinforcement campaign to encourage and reward seat belt use among Minnesota's teenagers.

Law enforcement agencies work together with high schools that choose to "catch" teens using seat belts upon arrival to or departure from school facilities or events.

The rewards aren't used as part of any traffic stop.

In addition to rewarding JHS students for buckling up, the program also took place at Osakis High School last week.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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