RED program teaches youth about dangers of impaired driving, real-life decision making

The (RED) Reality Education for Drivers program focuses on distracted driving, decision making,...
The (RED) Reality Education for Drivers program focuses on distracted driving, decision making, highway and public safety.(KBTX)
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 4:44 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The RED program provides an opportunity for the youth to earn community service credit while learning about and discussing impaired driving, substance abuse, safe driving practices, decision making, and life application.

On Wednesday, April 20, An Evening of Reflection victim impact panel will be held at Callaway Jones Funeral Home in Bryan from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for the youth and their parents involved in the (RED) Reality Education for Drivers program. The panel will include speakers from DPS, College Station Fire Department, CHI St. Joseph Health, and a local mother who lost her son in an alcohol-related crash.

Last October, Brazos County Juvenile Services Department partnered with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Brazos Valley Injury Prevention Coalition and their Watch Ur BAC program to develop and provide this special version of the RED program geared to justice-involved youth. Deputy Director of Community Services Joel Hein says due to the success of the program and the overwhelmingly positive feedback they received from the youth that participated, they decided to offer the program again this spring. The classes are intentionally kept small. Hein says this allows staff to develop a closer bond with students and their parents as they go through the program.

After completing the 6-week program, there is a graduation ceremony where students are presented with certificates of completion. Hein says over the years, his department has presented a myriad of programs to help these juveniles, but that this program in particular is one of his favorites and that the response from the youth has been very rewarding.

“It’s really nice and so rewarding to see this transition occur where students come in skeptical and resistant, but over the course of the program are moved to tears, opening up from their hearts. Even the parents get involved,” Hein said.

You can learn more about the Brazos County Juvenile Services Department here.

For the full conversation with Joel Hein, watch below:

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