Friday, January 27, 2023

A Christmas elf trades traffic tickets for onions in Florida

Miami, December 14 Fine or onion. That’s the option the Green Leprechaun Grinch offers to motorists who slightly exceed the speed limit in school zones near the highway that runs through the Florida Keys (USA) on Christmas dates.

The custom of a police officer portraying himself as the Grinch and surprising motorists with his unusual offer dates back about 15 years to the Keys, an archipelago of 1,700 small islands located between Florida and the Cuban mainland.

It is a gesture of goodwill on the occasion of the Christmas holidays.

The Green Goblin recreates the fictional character created by Theodor Seuss Geisel in the 1957 children’s book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” which is very popular in the United States, was made into a film in 2018.

In keeping with tradition, Colonel Lou Caputo of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office donned a Grinch costume on Tuesday and, along with other deputies, began watching the speed of passing cars on the radar of Stanley Switlick Elementary School.

Caputo says he plays the fictional character created by a children’s author to “gift” minor disrespectful motorists, but also to draw attention to the need to respect speed limits in school zones.

Drivers who barely exceed the school zone speed limit have the option of getting stuck between a traffic ticket or a stinky onion served up by the Grinch.

The fastest ones will probably get a fine from the local authorities.

“I came up with the idea after the premiere of the movie ‘The Grinch’ with actor Jim Carrey,” Caputo recalled.

He said that then he thought it would be a Christmas present to dress up as the Grinch and go out into the school zone to give onions to minor offenders instead of issuing fines.

Despite the Christmas mood, Caputo said there is a serious side to this unusual traffic control project.

“We want people to know they are in a school zone and there is danger from the presence of children at school, so they should not take the risk,” Caputo said.

Nation World News Desk
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