Drivers in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, about 40 kilometres southwest of Montreal, had a bit of a different reaction when they were pulled over by police last week.

That's because instead of a ticket, they were rewarded for their good driving habits with gifts from local businesses.

The good driving initiative, called Opération Bonne Conduite, is in its second year. Seven police officers and 16 local businesses participated on Dec. 12, offering gifts and gift certificates to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu residents just in time for the holidays.

Many drivers were surprised and confused upon being stopped by police.

"I was asking myself what I could have done wrong. I looked at the kids, they were all well buckled," said Stéphane Ducal, who was driving with his children when he was pulled over.

He was given a scooter and a gift certificate to a local restaurant.

Raphaëlle Plante said that at first she wondered why she was being pulled over.

"It's fun, it's a nice surprise," she said.

bonne conduite saint-jean-sur-richelieu

Seven police officers and 16 local businesses participated in Opération Bonne Conduite on Dec. 12. (Radio-Canada)

Police, who rode in patrol cars alongside different business owners, were dressed in Santa Claus hats and rewarded motorists who were cautious, courteous, and respectful of the law.

They then encouraged the drivers to continue driving safely and urged them to motivate others to do the same.

With files from Radio-Canada