BRYAN, TX — Texas A&M is the center of College Station where teens are leaving their homes for the first time to live on their own and make decisions for themselves. Many learn the hard way your decisions can have consequences. One Brazos valley program is giving these teens a second chance at making better decisions.
The Brazos Valley Injury Prevention Coalition is a statewide initiative that promotes educational programs to reduce traffic related injuries and prevent impaired or distracted teen drivers.
The Reality Education for Drivers program was established in the Brazos Valley 8 years ago through the Brazos Valley Injury Prevention Coalition. The mission is to educate teens to make responsible choices before getting behind the wheel.
“To save lives is our primary goal,” said Mary Jo Prince, reality education driving program manager.
Not only does it teach young individuals the importance of safe driving but if they’ve received a class-c-misdemeanor they have a chance to get a clean slate. But It’s the judge's choice to grant them the opportunity.
“Our judges will send us their class-c-misdemeanor offenders, which include those minors in possession and that’s where we are seeing the bulk of our attendees,” Prince added.
According to numbers tracked since 2019, College Station PD says today the number of MIP's given have nearly tripled.
“It’s just about education,” Prince explained. “But sometimes they're not real sure or not really aware of the actual details of the conditions that can put them into a minor in possession,”
The class gives young individuals a chance to educate themselves and hear testimonies of real-life tragedies that will possibly impact their decisions moving forward.
”Any diversionary program is good especially on first offense because kids like adults make mistakes you know they make a poor choice one time and I don’t think you should hound them their entire life,” said William Snell, College Station community enhancement police officer.
Chance Castleberry is a freshman at Blinn, who shared with us he has a newfound perspective on life ever since he took the red program course.
”It feels great to know that I have a second chance to go back out and show the law enforcement and everyone else that I can be a contributing member of society,” He said.
Prior to COVID teens were able to experience this 5-hour course at st. Joseph regional health center in Bryan, but currently it is provided over zoom.
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