Bryan and College Station are among fewer than 20 Texas cities receiving top awards for making outstanding contributions toward increasing traffic safety.
The Traffic Safety Awards are presented annually by the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center’s (TMCEC) Municipal Traffic Safety Initiative.
Municipal courts for both cities participated directly in programs designed to decrease crashes, traffic fatalities, juvenile DUI and other traffic-related offenses.
How Bryan won
In November, Bryan Municipal Court held a kick-off event with the local Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) chapter, Texas A&M University’s AgriLife Extension, Bryan city marshals and the Bryan Police Department to educate the community on identifying at-risk drivers and understanding the potential consequences of distracted drivers. Citizens were able to utilize AgriLife's drunk driver simulator to experience a drunken state that demonstrated the dangerous effects of driving under the influence or while intoxicated. In addition, the local MADD chapter brought a victim display board so participants could understand the magnitude of local fatalities due to drunk and impaired driving.
“We’re very excited and honored to have won the Traffic Safety Initiative Award for the third time; especially, since more municipal courts are competing for this award," said Hilda Cuthbertson, Bryan court administrator. "We look forward to continuing to educate the public on the dangers of distracted driving. Our goal is to make drivers aware and ultimately save lives.”
Bryan court staff wrapped up Texas Municipal Courts Week by sponsoring a coloring contest for school-age children, coordinating school tours and hosting a food drive to benefit the Brazos Food Bank.
How College Station won
In 2012, College Station Municipal Court took part in a shockingly real scenario staged in front of A&M Consolidated High School, where two teens died in a two-vehicle crash so violent that it required use of the Jaws of Life to remove them from the wreckage — all while the student body watched in silence. Judge Ed Spillane pronounced the teens as deceased and then later magistrated the other driver, who had been drinking.
“Participating in the Shattered Dreams event was an extremely rewarding experience,” said Judge Spillane. “You could hear a pin drop when the juniors and seniors watched two of the victims pronounced deceased, while others were LifeFlighted from the scene. That event is powerful enough to save lives.”
Judge Spillane says the recognition marks the third consecutive year College Station Municipal Court has received a Traffic Safety Award.
The Traffic Safety Awards will be presented during the TMCEC’s Traffic Safety Conference, which will be held April 2-4 in Austin.