BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The Baton Rouge area will be the first in the state to start a new program that parish officials hope will bridge the gap between community members and law enforcement.

We all know the hassle of a broken tail light or a burned-out turn signal and both can cost you.
Even more expensive? The ticket you’ll get if you’re caught on the road, but a new program called Lights On! is helping drivers with the bill.

The program is completely free to voucher recipients and is supported by financial donations, according to an official press release. 

“Instead of giving a ticket, when a law enforcement officer stops a motorist, he or she will issue a voucher,” said Lights On! Vice President Sherman Patterson. “And what that does is it starts the communication. It starts. It helps them to talk with each other instead of at each other.”

If an officer pulls you over for any light-bulb-related malfunction on the vehicle, instead of a ticket, you’ll get a voucher that will cover the cost of getting the light fixed within 14 days.

“It will instruct them on how to redeem this voucher. And it’s good for $250,” said Chris Csonka, executive director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

There are more than five auto shops that you will be able to use to get your headlight or taillight fixed. One of them is Simple Simon Tires and Car Care.

“$250 would cover most light repairs, I would say,” said Mark Jones, the general manager at Simple Simon Tires and Car Care. “And so they don’t pay anything.”

If you get caught with a broken tail light after receiving a voucher, it will be up to the officer to give you another for the same vehicle. Officials say they will start Lights On! as soon as the vouchers arrive.

“People can get in a big bind if they have to pay a fine and lose work to go deal with it and the cost of repairing it. So we just saw it as it was a great idea,” said Jones.