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The gift of safety free: RED Program wants to help this holiday season

Posted at 7:19 AM, Dec 24, 2021

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Fire up the yule log video and gather around the Christmas tree because the big man in the red suit is headed to Central Texas on Saturday.

Kiddos across our area are sure to wake up well before the crack of dawn, eager to open up presents and fill living rooms with joy and laughter.

However, what about the teens and young adults in your life?

If you ask Mary Jo Prince, the program coordinator for the Brazos Valley Injury Prevention Coalition and the RED Program, she’ll tell you the best gift for them is free: the gift of safety.

In collaboration with the Texas Department of Transportation, Prince with Texas A&M Agrilife offers a five-hour course for free to anyone interested aimed at educating drivers on how to be safer driver.

“We just want them, our young drivers, to be aware of the responsibilities not only for themselves, but for everyone in the vehicle in which they are driving or even before they get in the vehicle,” Prince explained.

For now, the class meets online and is shown real videos from local hospitals’ trauma units, and hears from local law enforcement and municipal courts.

Oftentimes, folks are referred to the statewide program by a local court after receiving a traffic violation.

“We do our best to help save their lives and give them [drivers] that message that in the event, a bad choice is made, it doesn't define them,” Prince started. “Bad choices are only bad choices if you don't learn from them.”

According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, the leading cause of death in people ages 18-25 are from car accidents.

To lower this statistic and enroll in a class, you can visit the group’s website here.