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'License to live' initiative focuses on safe driving, education

Posted: 1:07 PM, Oct 24, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-24 22:33:43Z

Speeding, like distracted driving, can cause crashes in the blink of an eye. 

Speeding is also the reason the White family in Treynor, Iowa, is fighting to make roads in their community safer. 

The town installed radar signs after 14-year-old Tristan White was a hit and killed by a speeding driver

"He was part of the Treynor football team his freshmen year, and he actually was hit when he was running for wrestling," said his mother, Lisa. 

Since then, his family has been working closely with the nonprofit Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 , an organization that helps raise awareness about safe driving.

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The Whites and Keep Kids Alive partnered with State Farm Neighborhood Assist and received two grants totaling $50,000 to kick off the "License to Live" initiative. The grant money helped fund the radar signs placed in town. 

They also worked with the community to host a mock crash simulation at Treynor High to make kids aware of the risks of distracted driving. 

Keep Kids Alive program director Tom Everson met the White family shortly after they lost their son and said their resilience amazes him. 

"They're so focused on what good can come of this world in honor of Tristan, and it's not a reoccurring theme, it's a consistent theme, it's who their family is," he said. 

However, Tristan's family says the pain of losing him will never go away. 

"Angry is what continues to go through your head because that driver did have every ability to slow down and not make it happen, he acknowledged he saw the boys ahead, he acknowledged he saw them switching positions, he was in a hurry," Lisa said. 

Although the signs won't bring loved ones back, Everson says they could keep another family from suffering the same loss. 

"The concern about traffic safety is certainly you know always local because that's where we live but local is universal," he said. "You know, everybody's concerned about what happens on the street in front of their own home, and where they drive each day.

"It takes 2 seconds for everything to change, you know, something out in front of you, a road condition, a change in the road, whatever," Lisa said. "It's not worth it."

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