Adoption of Administrative Rules

JUSTIFICATION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE RULE ADOPTION
Driver Education and Safety

16 TAC Chapter 84, new Subchapter C, §84.48; and amendments at Subchapter D, §84.51; Subchapter M, §§84.500, 84.502 and 84.503; and Subchapter N, §84.600

The Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation (Commission) adopts new rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 84, Subchapter C, §84.48; and adopts amendments at Subchapter D, §84.51; Subchapter M, §§84.500, 84.502 and 84.503; and Subchapter N, §84.600, regarding the Driver Education and Safety program, without changes to the proposed text as published in the March 30, 2018, issue of the Texas Register (43 TexReg 1923). The rules will not be republished.

The adopted rules implement the Community Safety Education Act (Senate Bill 30), 85th Legislature, Regular Session (2017), which added a requirement to include information related to law enforcement procedures for traffic stops in all driver education and driving safety school curriculum. In addition, Senate Bill 1051, 85th Legislature, Regular Session (2017), amended Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001 to require all driving safety schools include accommodations for deaf or hard of hearing students; and for the Department to develop an online driver education course in American Sign Language. The adopted rules are necessary to implement Senate Bill 30 and Senate Bill 1051.

The adopted new §84.48 adds accommodations for deaf or hard of hearing students.

The adopted amendments to §84.51 corrects references.

The adopted amendments to §84.500 adds instruction on law enforcement procedures for traffic stops to course of instruction for driver education schools.

The adopted amendments to §84.502 adds the implementation of law enforcement procedures for traffic stops to the driving safety course of instruction.

The adopted amendments to §84.503 adds educating students on the proper law enforcement procedures for traffic stops to the specialized driving safety course of instruction.

The adopted amendments to §84.600 adds law enforcement procedures for traffic stops to the program on instruction for public schools, education service centers, and colleges or universities course requirements.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) drafted and distributed the proposed rules to persons internal and external to the agency. The proposed rules were published in the March 30, 2018, issue of the Texas Register (43 TexReg 1923). The deadline for public comment was April 30, 2018. The Department received one comment during the 30-day public comment period. The public comment received is summarized below.

Comment--The commenter inquired as to what students were going to be taught about the proper law enforcement procedures to be employed at traffic stops.

Department Response --The Department appreciates the commenter’s inquiry and notes that the Community Safety Education Act (Senate Bill 30) requires that Texas Education Code §28.012 and §1001.109 govern the development of instruction, including curriculum and instructional modules on the proper interaction with peace officers during traffic stops and other in-person encounters. These statutes shall mandate minimum requirements of instruction to be presented to students in each driver education course and driving safety course. The legislation also allows for the public to provide additional input on the subject matter for instruction through public comment and participation in volunteer work groups. Moreover, Texas Occupations Code §1701.253 provides for the creation and development of a Civilian Interaction Training Program for peace officers. The training program, pursuant to Texas Occupations Code §1701.268, requires that each peace officer complete the training program, which will include, at a minimum, the same curriculum requirements as those taught to students in driver education courses and driving safety courses. The Department did not make any changes to the rule in response to this comment.

The Driver Training and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee (Committee) met on May 9, 2018, and recommended the proposed rules be adopted without changes. At its meeting held on May 24, 2018, the Commission adopted the proposed rules without changes as recommended by the Committee and the Department.

The new rule is adopted under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51 and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001, which authorize the Commission, the Department’s governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the adoption are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 51 and Texas Education Code, Chapter 1001. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the adoption.

Subchapter C. Driver Education Schools and Instructors

§84.48. Accommodations for Deaf or Hard of Hearing Students.

(a) Consistent with the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Section 12101 et seq.), a Driver Education School must make reasonable accommodations and provide aids and services when, providing the classroom portion of a driver education course, that are necessary to ensure that a student who is deaf or hard of hearing may fully participate in the course.

(b) As part of the original or renewal application to obtain a driver education school license, the applicant must provide the school’s plan for complying with §84.48(a).

(c) A school will be in compliance with §84.48, if the school utilizes the department’s online driver education course described in §1001.059 of the Code.

Subchapter D. Parent Taught Driver Education.

§84.51. Parent Taught Submission of Course for Department Approval .

(a) If the curriculum and all materials meet or exceed the minimum standards set forth in §1001.112 of the Code, the department will approve the course. No more than 640 minutes of the required hours of classroom instruction delivered via multimedia may be counted.

(b) Notification of approval or denial will be sent to the requesting entity. Deficiencies will be noted in cases of denial. Any substantive change in course curriculum or materials will require submission for approval according to subsection (a).

(c) A written request is required within thirty (30) days if there is any change relating to an approved course, including contact information, company name, and course titles. Updated information will be included as soon as practical.

(d) The department will retain submitted materials according to the department's retention schedule.

(e) The department has authority to require course re-approval due to changes in parent taught driver education curriculum requirements, state law, or administrative rules. The department will notify the parent taught driver education course provider when re-approval is required. The course provider will have ninety (90) days from the date of notification to submit the requested information. Failure to adequately respond within the required time will result in cancellation of the course approval. The department will review the course material and make a determination as to adoption in a timely manner.

(f) A parent taught driver education course submitted for department review may be denied upon finding:

(1) that the course does not meet the standards required under §1001.112 of the Code; or

(2) the materials used were not approved by the department.

(g) A notice of denial will be sent to requesting entity. The requesting entity will have ninety (90) days to correct the noted deficiencies. If the requesting entity fails to meet approval criteria, the course will be denied. If a course is denied by the department, the requesting entity must wait thirty (30) days before submitting a new parent taught driver education course for approval by the department.

Subchapter M. Curriculum and Alternative Methods of Instruction.

§84.500. Courses of Instruction for Driver Education Schools

(a) The educational objectives of driver training courses shall include, but not be limited to, promoting respect for and encouraging observance of traffic laws and traffic safety responsibilities of driver education and citizens; instruction on law enforcement procedures for traffic stops in accordance with provisions of the Community Safety Education Act (Senate Bill 30, 85th Regular Legislature); reducing traffic violations; reducing traffic-related injuries, deaths, and economic losses; the proper use of child passenger safety seat systems; and motivating development of traffic-related competencies through education, including, but not limited to, Texas traffic laws, risk management, driver attitudes, courtesy skills, and evasive driving techniques.

(b) This subsection contains requirements for driver education courses. All course content and instructional material shall include current statistical data, references to law, driving procedures, and traffic safety methodology. For each course, curriculum documents and materials may be requested as part of the application for approval.

(1) Minor and adult driver education course.

(A) The driver education classroom phase for students age 14 and over shall consist of:

(i) a minimum of 32 hours of classroom instruction. The in-car phase must consist of seven hours of behind-the-wheel instruction and seven hours of in-car observation in the presence of a person who holds a driver education instructor license; and

(ii) 30 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction, including at least 10 hours of nighttime instruction, in the presence of an adult who meets the requirements of Texas Transportation Code, §521.222(d)(2). The 30 hours of instruction must be endorsed by a parent or legal guardian if the student is a minor. Simulation hours shall not be substituted for these 30 hours of instruction. Driver education training endorsed by the parent is limited to one hour per day.

(B) Schools are allowed five minutes of break per instructional hour for all phases. No more than ten minutes of break time may be accumulated for each two hours of instruction.

(C) Driver education course curriculum content, minimum instruction requirements, and administrative guidelines for classroom instruction, in-car training (behind-the-wheel and observation), simulation, and multicar range shall include the educational objectives established by the department in the Program of Organized Instruction in Driver Education and Traffic Safety (POI) and meet the requirements of this subchapter. In addition, the educational objectives that must be provided to every student enrolled in a minor and adult driver education course shall include information relating to litter prevention, anatomical gifts, leaving children in vehicles unattended, distractions, motorcycle awareness, alcohol awareness and the effect of alcohol on the effective operation of a motor vehicle, and recreational water safety.

(D) Driver education schools that desire to instruct students age 14 and over in a traditional classroom program shall provide the same beginning and ending dates for each student in the same class of 36 or less. No student shall be allowed to enroll and start the classroom phase after the seventh hour of classroom instruction has begun.

(E) Students shall proceed in the sequence identified by and approved for that school.

(F) Students shall receive classroom instruction from an instructor who is approved and licensed by the department. An instructor shall be in the classroom and available to students during the entire 32 hours of instruction, including self-study assignments. Instructors shall not have other teaching assignments or administrative duties during the 32 hours of classroom instruction.

(G) Videos, tape recordings, guest speakers, and other instructional media that present concepts required in the POI may be used as part of the required 32 hours of traditional classroom instruction. Instructors shall refrain from using any type of media for an extended period of time and should only use videos for no more than 640 minutes. PowerPoint slides or equivalent software solutions are considered to be approved teaching aids and does not fall into the restricted media aids.

(H) Self-study assignments occurring during regularly scheduled class periods shall not exceed 25% of the course and shall be presented to the entire class simultaneously.

(I) Each classroom student shall be provided a driver education textbook designated by the commissioner or access to instructional materials that are in compliance with the POI approved for the school. Instructional materials, including textbooks, must be in a condition that is legible and free of obscenities.

(J) A copy of the current edition of the "Texas Driver Handbook" or instructional materials that are equivalent shall be furnished to each student enrolled in the classroom phase of the driver education course.

(K) Each student, including makeup students, shall be provided their own seat and table or desk while receiving classroom instruction. A school shall not enroll more than thirty-six (36) students, excluding makeup students, and the number of students may not exceed the number of seats and tables or desks available at the school.

(L) When a student changes schools, the school must follow the current transfer policy developed by the department and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

(M) All classroom phases of driver education, including makeup work, shall be completed within the timelines stated in the original student contract. This shall not circumvent the attendance and progress requirements.

(N) All in-car lessons shall consist of actual driving instruction. No school shall permit a ratio of more than four students per instructor or exceed the seating and occupant restraint capacity of the vehicle used for instruction. Schools that allow one-on-one instruction shall notify the parents in the contract.

(O) A student must have a valid driver's license or learner license in his or her possession during any behind-the-wheel instruction.

(P) All in-car instruction provided by the school shall begin no earlier than 5:00 a.m. and end no later than 11:00 p.m. The division may approve exceptions; however, the request shall be made in writing by the school owner or school director and include acknowledgment by all parents in the form of signatures.

(Q) A school may use multimedia systems, simulators, and multicar driving ranges for in-car instruction in a driver education program. Each simulator, including the filmed instructional programs, and each plan for a multicar driving range must meet state specification developed by DPS and the department. A licensed driver education instructor must be present during use of multimedia systems, simulators, and multicar driving ranges.

(R) Four periods of at least 55 minutes per hour of instruction in a simulator may be substituted for 1 hour of behind-the-wheel instruction and 1 hour of in-car observation. Two periods of at least 55 minutes per hour of multicar driving range instruction may be substituted for 1 hour of behind-the-wheel instruction and 1 hour of in-car observation relating to elementary or city driving lessons. However, a minimum of four hours must be devoted to actual behind-the-wheel instruction.

(S) In a minor and adult driver education program, a student may apply to the DPS for a learner license after completing the objectives found in Module One: Traffic Laws

(T) A student issued a DE-964 under the block and concurrent programs must subsequently complete the required classroom instruction. If a student does not subsequently complete the required class instruction, the instructor must complete DPS Form DL-42 and send it to the DPS division responsible for license and driver records. Form DL-42 should be prepared as soon as it is evident the student will not complete the required hours of instruction. The DPS may then revoke the student's instruction permit.

(U) Each school owner that teaches driver education courses shall collect adequate student data to enable the department to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the driver education course in reducing the number of violations and accidents of persons who successfully complete the course. The department may determine a level of effectiveness that serves the purposes of the Code.

(2) Driver education course exclusively for adults. Courses offered in a traditional classroom setting or online to persons who are age 18 to under 25 years of age for the education and examination requirements for the issuance of a driver's license under Texas Transportation Code, §521.222(c) and §521.1601, must be offered in accordance with the following guidelines.

(A) Traditional approval process. The department may approve a driver education course exclusively for adults to be offered traditionally if the course meets the following requirements.

(i) Application. The driver education school shall submit a completed application along with the appropriate fee.

(ii) Instructor license required. Students shall receive classroom instruction from a licensed supervising teacher, driver education teacher, supervising teaching assistant-full or teaching assistant-full.

(iii) Minimum course content. The driver education course exclusively for adults shall consist of six clock hours of classroom instruction that meets the following topics.

(I) Course introduction--ten minutes. Objective: The student recognizes the value of legal and responsible reduced-risk driving practices and accepts driving as a privilege with responsibilities, obligations, and potential consequences.

(II) Your license to drive--minimum of 20 minutes. Objective: The student reduces risk and accepts driving as a privilege by legally and responsibly possessing a driver's license, registering and having a current inspection on a motor vehicle, and obeying the Safety Responsibility Act.

(III) Right-of-way--minimum of 50 minutes. Objective: The student reduces risk by legally and responsibly accepting or yielding the right-of-way.

(IV) Traffic control devices--minimum of 40 minutes. Objective: The student reduces risk by legally and responsibly applying knowledge and understanding of traffic control devices.

(V) Controlling traffic flow--minimum of 40 minutes. Objective: The student reduces risk by legally and responsibly applying knowledge and understanding of laws and procedures for controlling traffic flow.

(VI) Alcohol and other drugs--minimum of 50 minutes. Objective: The student legally and responsibly performs reduced-risk driving practices by adopting zero-tolerance driving and lifestyle practices related to the use of alcohol and other drugs and applying knowledge and understanding of alcohol and other drug laws, regulations, penalties, and consequences.

(VII) Cooperating with other roadway users--minimum of 20 minutes. Objective: The student reduces risk by legally and responsibly cooperating with law enforcement and other roadway users, including vulnerable roadway users in emergency and potential emergency situations.

(VIII) Managing risk--minimum of 50 minutes. Objective: The student reduces and manages risk by legally and responsibly understanding the issues commonly associated with motor vehicle collisions, including poor decision making, risk taking, impaired driving, distractions, speed, failure to use a safety belt, driving at night, and using a wireless communications device while operating a vehicle.

(IX) Classroom progress assessment--25 minutes (this shall be the last unit of instruction). The remaining 25 minutes of instruction shall be allocated to the topics included in the minimum course content under subclauses (II)-(VIII) of this clause.

(iv) Course management. An approved adult driver education course shall be presented in compliance with the following guidelines.

(I) The instructor shall be physically present in appropriate proximity to the student for the type of instruction being given. The teacher of record shall sign all completed classroom instruction records provided by a supervising teaching assistant-full or teaching assistant-full.

(II) A copy of the current edition of the "Texas Driver Handbook" or study material that is equivalent shall be furnished to each student enrolled in the course.

(III) Self-study assignments, videos, tape recordings, guest speakers, and other instructional media that present topics required in the course shall not exceed 120 minutes of instruction. PowerPoint slides or equivalent software solutions are considered to be approved teaching aids and does not fall into the restricted media aids.

(IV) Each student, including makeup students, shall be provided their own seat and table or desk while receiving classroom instruction. A school shall not enroll more than 36 students, excluding makeup students, and the number of students may not exceed the number of seats and tables or desks available at the school.

(V) All classroom instruction, including makeup work, shall be completed within the timelines stated in the original student contract.

(VI) A minimum of 330 minutes of instruction is required.

(VII) The total length of the course shall consist of a minimum of 360 minutes.

(VIII) Thirty minutes of time, exclusive of the 330 minutes of instruction, shall be dedicated to break periods or to the topics included in the minimum course content.

(IX) Students shall not receive a driver education certificate of completion unless that student receives a grade of at least 70% on the highway signs examination and at least 70% on the traffic laws examination as required under Texas Transportation Code, §521.161.

(X) The driver education school shall make a material effort to establish the identity of the student.

(B) Online approval process. The department may approve a driver education course exclusively for adults to be offered online if the course meets the following requirements.

(i) Application. The driver education school shall submit a completed application along with the appropriate fee.

(ii) Request for approval. The request for approval must include a syllabus cross-reference, contract, and instructional records.

(iii) School license required. A person or entity offering an online driver education course exclusively for adults must hold a driver education school license.

(I) The driver education school shall be responsible for the operation of the online course.

(II) Students shall receive classroom instruction from a licensed supervising teacher, driver education teacher, or teaching assistant-full.

(iv) Course content. The online course must meet the requirements of the course identified in §1001.1015 of the Code.

(I) Course topics. The course requirements described in subparagraph (A)(iii) shall be met.

(II) Length of course. The course must be 6 hours in length, which is equal to 360 minutes. A minimum of 330 minutes of instruction must be provided. Thirty minutes of time, exclusive of the 330 minutes of instruction, shall be dedicated to break periods or to the topics included in the minimum course content. All break periods shall be provided after instruction has begun and before the comprehensive examination and summation.

(III) Required material. A copy of the current edition of the "Texas Driver Handbook" or study material that is equivalent shall be furnished to each student enrolled in the course.

(IV) Editing. The material presented in the online course shall be edited for grammar, punctuation, and spelling and be of such quality that it does not detract from the subject matter.

(V) Irrelevant material. Advertisement of goods and services shall not appear during the actual instructional times of the course. Distracting material that is not related to the topic being presented shall not appear during the actual instructional times of the course.

(VI) Minimum content. The online course shall present sufficient content so that it would take a student 360 minutes to complete the course. In order to demonstrate that the online course contains sufficient minutes of instruction, the online course shall use the following methods.

(-a-) Word count. For written material that is read by the student, the course shall contain the total number of words in the written sections of the course. This word count shall be divided by 180, the average number of words that a typical student reads per minute. The result is the time associated with the written material for the sections.

(-b-) Multimedia presentations. For multimedia presentation, the online course shall calculate the total amount of time it takes for all multimedia presentations to play, not to exceed 120 minutes.

(-c-) Charts and graphs. The online course may assign one minute for each chart or graph.

(-d-) Time allotment for questions. The online course may allocate up to 60 seconds for questions presented over the Internet and 60 seconds for questions presented by telephone.

(-e-) Total time calculation. If the sum of the time associated with the written course material, the total amount of time for all multimedia presentations, and the time associated with all charts and graphs equals or exceeds 330 minutes, the online course has demonstrated the required amount of minimum content.

(-f-) Alternate time calculation method. In lieu of the time calculation method, the online course may submit alternate methodology to demonstrate that the online course meets the 330-minute requirement.

(v) Personal validation. The online course shall maintain a method to validate the identity of the person taking the course. The personal validation system shall incorporate one of the following requirements.

(I) School-initiated method. Upon approval by the department, the online course may use a method that includes testing and security measures that validate the identity of the person taking the course. The method must meet the following criteria.

(-a-) Time to respond. The student must correctly answer a personal validation question within 60 seconds.

(-b-) Placement of questions. At least two personal validation questions shall appear randomly during each instructional hour, not including the final examination.

(-c-) Exclusion from the course. The online course shall exclude the student from the course after the student has incorrectly answered more than 30% of the personal validation questions.

(-d-) Correction of answer. The online course may correct an answer to a personal validation question for a student who inadvertently missed a personal validation question. In such a case, the student record shall include a record of both answers and an explanation of the reasons why the answer was corrected.

(II) Third party data method. The online course shall ask a minimum of twelve (12) personal validation questions randomly throughout the course from a bank of at least twenty (20) questions drawn from a third party data source. The method must meet the following criteria.

(-a-) Time to respond. The student must correctly answer a personal validation question within sixty (60) seconds.

(-b-) Placement of questions. At least two personal validation questions shall appear randomly during each instructional hour, not including the final examination.

(-c-) Exclusion from the course. The online course shall exclude the student from the course after the student has incorrectly answered more than 30% of the personal validation questions.

(-d-) Correction of answer. The online course may correct an answer to a personal validation question for a student who inadvertently missed a personal validation question. In such a case, the student record shall include a record of both answers and an explanation of the reasons why the answer was corrected.

(vi) Content validation. The online course shall incorporate a course content validation process that verifies student participation and comprehension of course material, including the following.

(I) Timers. The online course shall include built-in timers to ensure that 330 minutes of instruction have been attended and completed by the student.

(II) Testing the student's participation in multimedia presentations. The online course shall ask at least 1 course validation question following each multimedia clip of more than sixty (60) seconds.

(-a-) Test bank. For each multimedia presentation that exceeds sixty (60) seconds, the online course shall have a test bank of at least four (4) questions.

(-b-) Question difficulty. The question shall be short answer, multiple choice, essay, or a combination of these forms. The question shall be difficult enough that the answer may not be easily determined without having viewed the actual multimedia clip.

(-c-) Failure criteria. If the student fails to answer the question correctly, the online course must require the student to view the multimedia clip again. The online course shall then present a different question from its test bank for that multimedia clip. The online course may not repeat a question until it has asked all the questions from its test bank.

(-d-) Answer identification. The online course shall not identify the correct answer to the multimedia question.

(III) Course participation questions. The online course shall test the student's course participation by asking at least two questions from each of the seven topics listed in subparagraph (A)(v)(II)-(VIII).

(-a-) Test bank. The test bank for course participation questions shall include at least ten questions from each of the seven topics identified in subparagraph (A)(v)(II)-(VIII).

(-b-) Placement of questions. The course participation questions shall be asked at the end of the major unit or section in which the topic is covered.

(-c-) Question difficulty. Course participation questions shall be of such difficulty that the answer may not be easily determined without having participated in the actual instruction.

(IV) Comprehension of course content. The online course shall test the student's mastery of the course content by administering at least 30 questions covering the highway signs and traffic laws required under Texas Transportation Code, §521.161.

(-a-) Test banks (two). Separate test banks for course content mastery questions are required for the highway signs and traffic laws examination as required under Texas Transportation Code, §521.161, with examination questions drawn equally from each.

(-b-) Placement of questions. The mastery of course content questions shall be asked at the end of the course (comprehensive final examination).

(-c-) Question difficulty. Course content mastery questions shall be of such difficulty that the answer may not be easily determined without having participated in the actual instruction.

(vii) Retest the student. If the student misses more than 30% of the questions asked on an examination, the online course shall retest the student using different questions from its test bank. The student is not required to repeat the course, but may be allowed to review the course prior to retaking the examination. If the student fails the comprehensive final examination three times, the student shall fail the course.

(viii) Student records. The online course shall provide for the creation and maintenance of the records documenting student enrollment, the verification of the student's identity, and the testing of the student's mastery of the course material. The school shall also ensure that the student record is readily, securely, and reliably available for inspection by a department representative. The student records shall contain the following information:

(I) the student's first, middle, and last name;

(II) the student's date of birth and gender;

(III) a record of all questions asked and the student's responses;

(IV) the name or identity number of the staff member entering comments, retesting, or revalidating the student;

(V) both answers and a reasonable explanation for the change if any answer to a question is changed by the school for a student who inadvertently missed a question; and

(VI) a record of the time the student spent in each unit and the total instructional time the student spent in the course.

(ix) Waiver of certain education and examination requirements. A licensed driver education instructor must determine that the student has successfully completed and passed a driver education course exclusively for adults prior to waiving the examination requirements of the highway sign and traffic law parts of the examination required under Texas Transportation Code, §521.161, and signing the ADE-1317 driver education completion certificate.

(x) Age requirement. A person must be at least 18 years of age to enroll in a driver education course exclusively for adults.

(xi) Issuance of certificate. Not later than the 15th working day after the course completion date, the school shall issue an ADE-1317 driver education certificate only to a person who successfully completes an approved online driver education course exclusively for adults.

(xii) Access to instructor. The school must establish hours that the student may access the instructor. With the exception of circumstances beyond the control of the school, the student shall have access to the instructor during the specified hours.

(xiii) Additional requirements for online courses.

(I) Re-entry into the course. An online course may allow the student re-entry into the course by username and password authentication or other means that are as secure as username and password authentication.

(II) Navigation. The student shall be provided orientation training to ensure easy and logical navigation through the course. The student shall be allowed to freely browse previously completed material.

(III) Audio-visual standards. The video and audio shall be clear and, when applicable, the video and audio shall be synchronized.

(IV) Domain names. Each school offering an online course must offer that online course from a single domain. The online course may accept students that are redirected to the online course domain, as long as the school license number appears on the source that redirects the student to the online course domain. The student must be redirected to a webpage that clearly identifies the licensed school offering the online course before the student begins the registration process, supplies any information, or pays for the course.

(3) Compliance with Texas Transportation Code, §521.1601. Persons age 18 to under 25 years of age must successfully complete either a minor and adult driver education course or the driver education course exclusively for adults. Partial completion of either course does not satisfy the requirements of rule or law.

(4) Issuance of certificate. A licensed school or instructor may not issue an ADE-1317 adult driver education certificate to a person who is not at least 18 years of age.

(c) This subsection contains requirements for driver education instructor development courses. For each course, the following curriculum documents and materials are required to be submitted as part of the application for approval. If the course meets the minimum requirements set forth in this subchapter, the division may grant an approval. Schools desiring to provide driver education instructor development courses shall provide an application for approval that shall be in compliance with this section.

(1) Schools desiring to obtain approval for a driver education instructor development course shall request an application for approval from the department. All instructor development curricula submitted for approval shall meet or exceed the requirements set forth for approved programs offered at colleges, universities, school districts, or educational service centers and shall be specific to the area of specialization. Guidelines and criteria for the course shall be provided with the application packet, and the school shall meet or exceed the criteria outlined.

(A) Six-semester-hour instructor development course. The driver education instructor development program instructional objectives must be equivalent to 6 semester hours or 90 clock hours of driver and traffic safety education instructor training and shall include:

(i) Driver Education I--minimum of 45 clock hours. Instructional objectives: the trainee shall acquire the knowledge, skills, and understanding to instruct students in the reduced-risk driving practices in the Highway Transportation System (HTS) in accordance with the standards for minor and adult driver education and traffic safety. Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) overview of Driver Education I;

(II) minor and adult driver education curriculum overview and course goals;

(III) school and instructor liability and responsibility;

(IV) student evaluation and assessment;

(V) instructor conduct, including professionalism and public relations;

(VI) rules, codes, and standards for driver education programs; and

(VII) classroom progress examination for Driver Education I.

(ii) Driver Education II--minimum of 45 clock hours. Instructional objectives: the trainee shall acquire the knowledge, skills, and understanding to instruct students in the reduced-risk driving practices in the HTS in accordance with the standards for minor and adult driver education and traffic safety for in-car instruction. Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) overview of Driver Education II;

(II) minor and adult driver education in-car curriculum overview;

(III) commentary driving techniques;

(IV) factors that influence learning and habit formation;

(V) in-car lesson planning, including scheduling and designing;

(VI) vocabulary and communication;

(VII) risk management;

(VIII) general guidelines for conducting behind-the-wheel and in-car observation;

(IX) in-car debriefing techniques;

(X) proper record keeping and maintenance;

(XI) classroom progress examination for Driver Education II; and

(XII) in-car laboratory, including:

(-a-) initial assessment of trainee's driving skills by instructor trainer;

(-b-) observation of in-car teaching techniques as given by a licensed instructor;

(-c-) practice of instructor risk-management and emergency procedures, including taking control of the vehicle under the supervision and observation of a licensed instructor;

(-d-) in-car trainee student teaching under the supervision and observation of a licensed instructor; and

(-e-) trainee in-car student teaching final progress assessment under the supervision and observation of a licensed instructor.

(B) Nine-semester-hour instructor development course. The driver education instructor development program instructional objectives must be equivalent to 9 semester hours or 135 clock hours of driver and traffic safety education instructor training and shall include:

(i) all requirements set forth in subparagraph (A); and

(ii) Driver Education III--minimum of 45 clock hours. Instructional objectives: the trainee shall acquire the knowledge, skills, and understanding to instruct students in the reduced-risk driving practices in the HTS in accordance with the standards for minor and adult driver education and traffic safety for classroom instruction. Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) overview of Driver Education III;

(II) classroom delivery, including the Code, rules, standards, and school administrative procedures;

(III) student learning styles;

(IV) classroom management and student discipline;

(V) classroom lesson planning and designing;

(VI) scheduling driver education programs;

(VII) proper record keeping and maintenance;

(VIII) simulation theory and multicar range instruction;

(IX) instructor professional growth;

(X) classroom progress examination for Driver Education III; and

(XI) classroom laboratory, including:

(-a-) observation of classroom teaching techniques as given by a licensed instructor; and

(-b-) classroom practice student teaching under the supervision and observation of a licensed instructor.

(C) Supervising instructor development course. The supervising driver education instructor development program instructional objectives must be equivalent to 6 semester hours or 90 clock hours of driver and traffic safety education instructor training and shall include:

(i) training in administering driver education programs and supervising and administering traffic safety education;

(ii) Supervising Instructor I--minimum of 45 clock hours. Instructional objectives: the instructor shall acquire the knowledge, skills, and understanding to instruct trainees in the reduced-risk driving practices in the HTS in accordance with the standards for minor and adult driver education and traffic safety. Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) overview of Supervising Instructor I;

(II) minor and adult driver education curriculum overview and course goals;

(III) rules, codes, and standards for driver education programs;

(IV) learning styles;

(V) factors that influence learning and habit formation;

(VI) vocabulary and communication;

(VII) lesson plan development;

(VIII) classroom management and student discipline; and

(IX) classroom progress examination for Supervising Instructor I; and

(iii) Supervising Instructor II--minimum of 45 clock hours. Instructional objectives: the instructor shall acquire the knowledge, skills, and understanding to instruct trainees in the reduced-risk driving practices in the HTS in accordance with the standards for minor and adult driver education and traffic safety. Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) overview of Supervising Instructor II;

(II) student evaluation and assessment;

(III) commentary driving techniques;

(IV) in-car debriefing techniques;

(V) scheduling driver education programs;

(VI) proper record keeping and maintenance;

(VII) school and instructor liability and responsibility;

(VIII) instructor conduct, including professionalism and public relations;

(IX) risk management;

(X) simulation theory and multicar range;

(XI) professional growth;

(XII) classroom progress examination for Supervising Instructor II; and

(XIII) classroom laboratory, including:

(-a-) observation of nine-semester-hour driver education instructor development course classroom teaching techniques as given by a licensed instructor; and

(-b-) classroom practice student teaching of a nine-semester-hour driver education instructor development course under the supervision and observation of a licensed instructor.

(2) Prior to enrolling a student in a driver education instructor development course, the school owner or representative must obtain proof that the student has a high school diploma or equivalent. A copy of the evidence must be placed on file with the school. Further, the school shall obtain and evaluate a current official driving record from the student prior to enrollment. The individual must not have accumulated 6 or more penalty points on a driving record during the preceding 36-month period. The school must use the standards for assessing penalty points for convictions of traffic law violations and accident involvements established under Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 708, Subchapter B.

(3) Instruction records shall be maintained by the school for each instructor trainee and shall be available for inspection by authorized division representatives at any time during the training period and/or for license investigation purposes. The instruction record shall include the trainee's name, address, driver's license number, and other pertinent data; name and instructor license number of the person conducting the training; and dates of instruction, lesson time, and subject taught during each instruction period. Each record shall also include grades or other means of indicating the trainee's aptitude and development. Upon satisfactory completion of the training course, the supervising teacher conducting the training will certify one copy of the instruction record for attachment to the trainee's application for licensing, and one copy will be maintained in a permanent file at the school.

(4) All student instruction records submitted for the approved instructor development courses shall be original documents.

(5) A properly licensed supervising driver education teacher or supervising teaching assistant-full shall teach the 6-semester-hour, 9-semester-hour, and supervising instructor development courses. The supervising teacher may allow a driver education teacher, teaching assistant-full, or teaching assistant to provide training under the direction of the supervising teacher in areas appropriate for their level of certification and/or licensure. The supervising teacher is responsible for certifying all instruction conducted by the driver education teacher, teaching assistant-full, or teaching assistant, including independent study and research assignments, which shall not exceed 25% of the total training program time.

(d) This subsection contains requirements for driver education continuing education courses.

(1) Driver education school owners may receive an approval for a four-hour continuing education course and provide the approved course to instructors to ensure that instructors meet the requirements for continuing education.

(2) The request for course approval shall contain the following:

(A) a description of the plan by which the course will be presented;

(B) the subject of each unit;

(C) the educational objectives of each unit;

(D) time to be dedicated to each unit;

(E) instructional resources for each unit, including names or titles of presenters and facilitators; and

(F) a plan by which the school owner will monitor and ensure attendance and completion of the course by the instructions within the guidelines set forth in the course.

(3) A continuing education course may be approved if the department determines that:

(A) the course constitutes an organized program of learning that enhances the instructional skills, methods, or knowledge of a licensed driver education instructor;

(B) the course pertains to subject matters that relate directly to the practice of driver education instruction, instruction techniques, or driver education-related subjects; and

(C) the entire course shall be taught by individuals with recognized experience or expertise in the area of driver education or related subjects. The division may request evidence of the individuals' experience or expertise.

(4) Driver education school owners may not offer the same continuing education course to instructors each year. In order to continue to offer a course, a new or revised continuing education course shall be submitted to the department for approval.

(e) A branch school may offer only a course that is approved for the primary school.

(f) Schools applying for approval of additional courses after the original approval has been granted shall submit the documents designated by the division with the appropriate fee. Courses shall be approved before soliciting students, advertising, or conducting classes. An approval for an additional course shall not be granted if the school's compliance is in question at the time of application.

(g) If an approved course is discontinued, the division shall be notified within five days of discontinuance and furnished with the names and addresses of any students who could not complete the course because it was discontinued. If the school does not make arrangements satisfactory to the students and the division for the completion of the courses, the full amount of all tuition and fees paid by the students are due and refundable. If arrangements are not made satisfactory to the students and the division, the refunds must be made no later than thirty (30) days after the course was discontinued. Any course discontinued shall be removed from the school's approval.

(h) If, upon review and consideration of an original, renewal, or amended application for course approval, the department determines that the applicant does not meet the legal requirements, the department shall notify the applicant, setting forth the reasons for denial in writing.

(i) The department may revoke approval of a school's courses under certain circumstances, including, but not limited to, the following.

(1) Information contained in the application for the course approval is found to be untrue.

(2) The school has failed to maintain the instructors, facilities, equipment, or courses of study on the basis of which approval was issued.

(3) The school offers a course which has not been approved or for which there are no instructors or equipment.

(4) The school has been found to be in violation of TEC, Chapter 1001, and/or this chapter.

§84.502. Driving Safety Courses of Instruction.

(a) This section contains requirements for driving safety, continuing education, and instructor development courses. For each course, the following curriculum documents and materials are required to be submitted as part of the application for approval. Except as provided by §84.504, relating to Driving Safety Course Alternative Delivery Method), all course content shall be delivered under the direct observation of a licensed instructor. Courses of instruction shall not be approved that contain language that a reasonable and prudent individual would consider inappropriate. Any changes and updates to a course shall be submitted by the course provider and approved prior to being offered. Approval will be revoked for any course that meets the definition of inactive as defined in §84.2(16) of this chapter.

(1) Driving safety courses.

(A) Educational objectives. The educational objectives of driving safety courses shall include, but not be limited to promoting respect for and encouraging observance of traffic laws and traffic safety responsibilities of drivers and citizens; implementation of law enforcement procedures for traffic stops in accordance with the provisions of the Community Safety Education Act (Senate Bill 30, 85th Regular Legislature); the proper use of child passenger safety seat systems; reducing traffic violations; reducing traffic-related injuries, deaths, and economic losses; and motivating continuing development of traffic-related competencies.

(B) Driving safety course content guides. A course content guide is a description of the content of the course and the techniques of instruction that will be used to present the course. For courses offered in languages other than English, the course owner shall provide a copy of the student verification of course completion document and/or enrollment contract, student instructional materials, final examination, and evaluation in the proposed language. To be approved, each course owner shall submit as part of the application a course content guide that includes the following:

(i) a statement of the course's traffic safety goal and philosophy;

(ii) a statement of policies and administrative provisions related to instructor conduct, standards, and performance;

(iii) a statement of policies and administrative provisions related to student progress, attendance, makeup, and conduct. The policies and administrative provisions shall be used by each school that offers the course and include the following requirements:

(I) progress standards that meet the requirements of subparagraph (F);

(II) appropriate standards to ascertain the attendance of students. All schools approved to use the course must use the same standards for documenting attendance to include the hours scheduled each day and each hour not attended;

(III) if the student does not complete the entire course, including all makeup lessons, within the timeline specified by the court, no credit for instruction shall be granted;

(IV) any period of absence for any portion of instruction will require that the student complete that portion of instruction. All makeup lessons must be equivalent in length and content to the instruction missed and taught by a licensed instructor; and

(V) conditions for dismissal and conditions for re-entry of those students dismissed for violating the conduct policy;

(iv) a statement of policy addressing entrance requirements and special conditions of students such as the inability to read, language barriers, and other disabilities;

(v) a list of relevant instructional resources such as textbooks, audio and visual media and other instructional materials, and equipment that will be used in the course and the furniture deemed necessary to accommodate the students in the course such as tables, chairs, and other furnishings. The course shall include a minimum of 60 minutes of audio/video materials relevant to the required topics; however, the audio/video materials shall not be used in excess of 150 minutes of the 300 minutes of instruction. The resources may be included in a single list or may appear at the end of each instructional unit;

(vi) written or printed materials to be provided for use by each student as a guide to the course. The division may make exceptions to this requirement on an individual basis;

(vii) instructional activities to be used to present the material (lecture, films, other media, small-group discussions, workbook activities, written and oral discussion questions, etc.). When small-group discussions are planned, the course content guide shall identify the questions that will be assigned to the groups;

(viii) instructional resources for each unit;

(ix) techniques for evaluating the comprehension level of the students relative to the instructional unit. If oral or written questions are to be used to measure student comprehension levels, they shall be included in the course guide. The evaluative technique may be used throughout the unit or at the end; and

(x) a completed form cross-referencing the instructional units to the topics identified in subparagraph (D). A form to cross-reference the instructional units to the required topics and topics unique to the course will be provided by the division.

(C) Course and time management. Approved driving safety courses shall be presented in compliance with the following guidelines and shall include statistical information drawn from data maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

(i) A minimum of 300 minutes of instruction is required.

(ii) The total length of the course shall consist of a minimum of 360 minutes.

(iii) Sixty (60) minutes of time, exclusive of the 300 minutes of instruction, shall be dedicated to break periods or to the topics included in the minimum course content. All break periods shall be provided after instruction has begun and before the comprehensive examination and summation.

(iv) Administrative procedures such as enrollment shall not be included in the 300 minutes of the course.

(v) Courses conducted in a single day in a traditional classroom setting shall allow a minimum of 30 minutes for lunch.

(vi) Courses taught over a period longer than one day shall provide breaks on a schedule equitable to those prescribed for one-day courses. However, all breaks shall be provided after the course introduction and prior to the last unit of the instructional day or the comprehensive examination and summation, whichever is appropriate.

(vii) The order of topics shall be approved by the department as part of the course approval, and for each student, the course shall be taught in the order identified in the approved application.

(viii) Students shall not receive a uniform certificate of course completion unless that student receives a grade of at least 70% on the final examination.

(ix) In a traditional classroom setting, there must be sufficient seating for the number of students, arranged so that all students are able to view, hear, and comprehend all instructional aids and the class shall have no more than 50 students.

(x) The driving safety instructor or school shall make a material effort to establish the identity of the student.

(D) Minimum course content. Driving Safety course content, including video and multimedia, shall include current statistical data, references to law, driving procedures, and traffic safety methodology. A driving safety course shall include, as a minimum, materials adequate to assure the student masters the following.

(i) Course introduction--minimum of ten minutes (instructional objective--to orient students to the class). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) purpose and benefits of the course;

(II) course and facilities orientation;

(III) requirements for receiving course credit;

(IV) student course evaluation procedures; and

(V) Department-provided information on course content.

(ii) The traffic safety problem--minimum of 15 minutes (instructional objectives--to develop an understanding of the nature of the traffic safety problem and to instill in each student a sense of responsibility for its solution). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) identification of the overall traffic problem in the United States, Texas, and the locale where the course is being taught;

(II) death, injuries, and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes in Texas; and

(III) the top five contributing factors of motor vehicle crashes in Texas as identified by the Texas Department of Transportation.

(iii) Factors influencing driver performance--minimum of 20 minutes (instructional objective--to identify the characteristics and behaviors of drivers and how they affect driving performance). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) attitudes, habits, feelings, and emotions (aggressive driving, etc.);

(II) alcohol and other drugs;

(III) physical condition (drowsy driving, etc.);

(IV) knowledge of driving laws and procedures; and

(V) understanding the driving task.

(iv) Traffic laws and procedures--minimum of 30 minutes (instructional objectives--to identify the requirements of, and the rationale for, applicable driving laws and procedures and to influence drivers to comply with the laws on a voluntary basis). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) passing;

(II) right-of-way;

(III) turns;

(IV) stops;

(V) speed limits;

(VI) railroad crossings safety, including statistics, causes, and evasive actions;

(VII) categories of traffic signs, signals, and highway markings;

(VIII) pedestrians;

(IX) improved shoulders;

(X) intersections;

(XI) occupant restraints;

(XII) anatomical gifts;

(XIII) litter prevention;

(XIV) law enforcement and emergency vehicles (this category will be temporary until the need is substantiated by documentation from the Department of Public Safety on the number of deaths or injuries involved because of improper procedures used by a citizen when stopped by a law enforcement officer);

(XV) law enforcement procedures for traffic stops in accordance with the provisions of the Community Safety Education Act (Senate Bill 30, 85 th Regular Legislature); and

(XVI) other laws as applicable (i.e., financial responsibility/compulsory insurance).

(v) Special skills for difficult driving environments--minimum of 20 minutes (instructional objectives--to identify how special conditions affect driver and vehicle performance and identify techniques for management of these conditions). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) inclement weather;

(II) traffic congestion;

(III) city, urban, rural, and expressway environments;

(IV) reduced visibility conditions--hills, fog, curves, light conditions (darkness, glare, etc.), etc.; and

(V) roadway conditions.

(vi) Physical forces that influence driver control--minimum of 15 minutes (instructional objective--to identify the physical forces that affect driver control and vehicle performance). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) speed control (acceleration, deceleration, etc.);

(II) traction (friction, hydroplaning, stopping distances, centrifugal force, etc.); and

(III) force of impact (momentum, kinetic energy, inertia, etc.).

(vii) Perceptual skills needed for driving--minimum of 20 minutes (instructional objective--to identify the factors of perception and how the factors affect driver performance). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) visual interpretations;

(II) hearing;

(III) touch;

(IV) smell;

(V) reaction abilities (simple and complex); and

(VI) judging speed and distance.

(viii) Defensive driving strategies--minimum of 40 minutes (instructional objective--to identify the concepts of defensive driving and demonstrate how they can be employed by drivers to reduce the likelihood of crashes, deaths, injuries, and economic losses). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) trip planning;

(II) evaluating the traffic environment;

(III) anticipating the actions of others;

(IV) decision making;

(V) implementing necessary maneuvers;

(VI) compensating for the mistakes of other drivers;

(VII) avoiding common driving errors;

(VIII) interaction with other road users (motorcycles, bicycles, trucks, pedestrians, etc.);

(IX) motorcycle awareness, including the dangers of failing to yield the right-of-way to a motorcyclist and the need to share the road with motorcyclist; and

(X) distractions relating to the effect of using a wireless communication device, including texting or engaging in other actions that may distract a driver from the safe or effective operation of a motor vehicle.

(ix) Driving emergencies--minimum of 40 minutes (instructional objective--to identify common driving emergencies and their countermeasures). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) collision traps (front, rear, and sides);

(II) off-road recovery, paths of least resistance; and

(III) mechanical malfunctions (tires, brakes, steering, power, lights, etc.).

(x) Occupant restraints and protective equipment--minimum of 15 minutes (instructional objective--to identify the rationale for having and using occupant restraints and protective equipment). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) legal aspects;

(II) vehicle control;

(III) crash protection;

(IV) operational principles (active and passive);

(V) helmets and other protective equipment

(VI) proper use of child passenger safety seat systems; and

(VII) dangers involved in locking or leaving children in vehicles unattended.

(xi) Alcohol and traffic safety--minimum of 40 minutes (instructional objective--to identify the effects of alcohol on roadway users). Instruction shall not address methods to drink and drive but shall address the following topics related to the effects of alcohol on roadway users:

(I) physiological effects;

(II) psychological effects;

(III) legal aspects; and

(IV) synergistic effects.

(xii) Comprehensive examination--minimum of five minutes (this shall be the last unit of instruction).

(xiii) The remaining 30 minutes of instruction shall be allocated to the topics included in the minimum course content or to additional driving safety topics that satisfy the educational objectives of the course.

(E) Instructor training guides. An instructor training guide contains a description of the plan, training techniques, and curriculum to be used to train instructors to present the concepts of the approved driving safety course described in the applicant's driving safety course content guide. Each course provider shall submit as part of the application an instructor training guide that is bound or hole-punched and placed in a binder and that has a cover and a table of contents. The guide shall include the following:

(i) a statement of the philosophy and instructional goals of the training course;

(ii) a description of the plan to be followed in training instructors. The plan shall include, as a minimum, provisions for the following:

(I) instruction of the trainee in the course curriculum;

(II) training the trainee in the techniques of instruction that will be used in the course;

(III) training the trainee about administrative procedures and course provider policies;

(IV) demonstration of desirable techniques of instruction by the instructor trainer;

(V) a minimum of 15 minutes of instruction of the course curriculum by the trainee under the observation of the instructor trainer as part of the basic training course;

(VI) time to be dedicated to each training lesson; and

(VII) a minimum of 600 minutes of instruction of the course in a regular approved course under the observation of a licensed instructor trainer. The instructor trainee shall provide instruction for two full courses. It is not mandatory that the two courses be taught as two complete courses; however, every instructional unit shall be taught twice; and

(iii) instructional units sufficient to address the provisions identified in clause (ii)(I)-(VI). The total time of the units shall contain a minimum of 16 instructional hours. Each instructional unit shall include the following:

(I) the subject of the unit;

(II) the instructional objectives of the unit;

(III) time to be dedicated to the unit;

(IV) an outline of major concepts to be presented;

(V) instructional activities to be used to present the material (i.e., lecture, films, other media, small-group discussions, workbook activities, written and oral discussion questions). When small-group discussions are planned, the course guide shall identify the questions that will be assigned to the groups;

(VI) instructional resources for each unit; and

(VII) techniques for evaluating the comprehension level of the students relative to the instructional unit. If oral or written questions are to be used to measure student comprehension levels, they shall be included in the instructor training guide. The evaluative technique may be used throughout the unit or at the end.

(F) Examinations. Each course provider shall submit for approval, as part of the application, tests designed to measure the comprehension level of students at the completion of the driving safety course and the instructor training course. The comprehensive examination for each driving safety course must include at least 2 questions from the required units set forth in subparagraph (D)(ii)-(xi), for a total of at least 20 questions. The final examination questions shall be of such difficulty that the answer may not easily be determined without completing the actual instruction. Instructors shall not assist students in answering the final examination questions, but may facilitate alternative testing. Instructors may not be certified or students given credit for the driving safety course unless they score 70% or more on the final test. The course content guide shall identify alternative testing techniques to be used for students with reading, hearing, or learning disabilities and policies for retesting students who score less than 70% on the final examination. The applicant may choose not to provide alternative testing techniques; however, students shall be advised whether the course provides alternative testing prior to enrollment in the course. Test questions may be short answer, multiple choice, essay, or a combination of these forms.

(G) Requirements for authorship. The course materials shall be written by individuals or organizations with recognized experience in writing instructional materials.

(H) Renewal of course approval. The course approval must be renewed every two years. The renewal document due date shall be March 1 of every even numbered calendar year.

(i) For approval, the course owner shall update all the course content methodology, procedures, statistical data, and references to law with the latest available data.

(ii) The course owner shall submit a Statement of Assurance stating that the course has been updated to reflect the latest applicable laws and statistics.

(iii) Failure to make necessary changes or to submit a Statement of Assurance documenting those changes shall be cause for revocation of the course approval.

(iv) The commissioner may alter the due date of the renewal documents by giving the approved course six months' notice. The commissioner may alter the due date in order to ensure that the course is updated six months after the effective date of new state laws passed by the Texas Legislature.

(2) Instructor development courses.

(A) If the alternative instructor training in §84.64 (relating to Driving Safety Instructor License Requirements) is not applicable, driving safety instructors shall successfully complete 28 clock hours (50 minutes of instruction in a 60-minute period) in the approved instructor development course for the driving safety course to be taught, under the supervision of a driving safety instructor trainer. Supervision is considered to have occurred when the instructor trainer is present and personally provides the 28 clock hours of training for driving safety instructors, excluding those clock hours approved by department staff that may be presented by a guest speaker or using films and other media that pertain directly to the concepts being taught.

(B) Instruction records shall be maintained by the course provider and instructor trainer for each instructor trainee and shall be available for inspection by authorized division representatives at any time during the training period and/or for license investigation purposes. The instruction record shall include the trainee's name, address, driver's license number, and other pertinent data; the name and instructor license number of the person conducting the training; and the dates of instruction, lesson time, and subject taught during each instruction period. Each record shall also include grades or other means of indicating the trainee's aptitude and development. Upon satisfactory completion of the training course, the instructor trainer conducting the training will certify one copy of the instruction record for attachment to the trainee's application for licensing, and one copy will be maintained in a permanent file at the course provider location.

(C) All student instruction records submitted for the department-approved instructor development course shall be signed by the course provider. Original documents shall be submitted.

(D) Driving safety instructor development courses may be offered at approved classroom facilities of a licensed school which is approved to offer the driving safety course being taught. A properly licensed instructor trainer shall present the course.

(E) Applicants shall complete 28 hours of training in the driving safety curriculum that shall be taught. Of the 28 hours, 16 shall cover techniques of instruction and in-depth familiarization with materials contained in the driving safety curriculum. The additional 12 hours shall consist of practical teaching with students and shall occur after the first 16 hours have been completed.

(F) The driving safety course provider shall submit dates of instructor development course offerings for the 16-hour training that covers techniques of instruction and in-depth familiarization with the material contained in the driving safety curriculum, locations, class schedules, and scheduled instructor trainers' names and license numbers before the courses are offered. The 12-hour practical-teaching portion of the instructor development course shall be provided at properly licensed schools or classrooms approved to offer the course being provided.

(3) Continuing education courses.

(A) Each course provider will be responsible for receiving an approval for a minimum of a two-hour continuing education course. Each instructor currently endorsed to teach the course must attend the approved continuing education course conducted by the course provider.

(B) The request for course approval shall contain the following:

(i) a description of the plan by which the course will be presented;

(ii) the subject of each unit;

(iii) the instructional objectives of each unit;

(iv) time to be dedicated to each unit;

(v) instructional resources for each unit, including names or titles of presenters and facilitators;

(vi) any information that the department mandates to promote the quality of the education being provided; and

(vii) a plan by which the course provider will monitor and ensure attendance and completion of the course by the instructions within the guidelines set forth in the course.

(C) A continuing education course may be approved if the department determines that:

(i) the course is designed to enhance the instructional skills, methods, or knowledge of the driving safety instructor;

(ii) the course pertains to subject matters that relate directly to driving safety instruction, instruction techniques, or driving safety-related subjects;

(iii) the course has been designed, planned, and organized by the course provider. The course provider shall use licensed driving safety instructors to provide instruction or other individuals with recognized experience or expertise in the area of driving safety instruction or driving safety-related subject matters. Evidence of the individuals' experience or expertise may be requested by the division;

(iv) the course contains updates or approved revisions to the driving safety course curriculum, policies or procedures, and/or any changes to the course, that are affected by changes in traffic laws or statistical data; and

(v) any technology used to present a continuing education course meets reasonable standards for determining attendance, security, and testing.

(b) Course providers shall submit documentation on behalf of schools applying for approval of additional courses after the original approval has been granted. The documents shall be designated by the division and include the appropriate fee. Courses shall be approved before soliciting students, advertising, or conducting classes. An approval for an additional course shall not be granted if the school's compliance is in question at the time of application.

(c) If an approved course is discontinued, the division shall be notified within five days of discontinuance and furnished with the names and addresses of any students who could not complete the course because it was discontinued. If the school does not make arrangements satisfactory to the students and the division for the completion of the courses, the full amount of all tuition and fees paid by the students are due and refundable. If arrangements are not made satisfactory to the students and the division, the refunds must be made no later than 30 days after the course was discontinued. Any course discontinued shall be removed from the list of approved courses.

(d) If, upon review and consideration of an original, renewal, or amended application for course approval, the department determines that the applicant does not meet the legal requirements, the commissioner shall notify the applicant, setting forth the reasons for denial in writing.

(e) The department may revoke approval of any course given to a course owner, provider, or school under any of the following circumstances.

(1) Any information contained in the application for the course approval is found to be untrue.

(2) The school has failed to maintain the faculty, facilities, equipment, or courses of study on the basis of which approval was issued.

(3) The school and/or course provider has been found to be in violation of the Code, and/or this chapter.

(4) The course has been found to be ineffective in meeting the educational objectives set forth in subsection (a)(1)(A).

§84.503. Specialized Driving Safety Courses of Instruction .

(a) This section contains requirements for specialized driving safety courses, instructor development courses, and continuing education. For each course, the following curriculum documents and materials are required to be submitted as part of the application for approval. Except as provided by §84.504 of this title (relating to Driving Safety Course Alternative Delivery Method), all course content shall be delivered under the direct observation of a specialized driving safety licensed instructor. Courses of instruction shall not be approved that contain language that a reasonable and prudent individual would consider inappropriate. Any changes and updates to a course shall be submitted and approved prior to being offered. Approval will be revoked for any course that meets the definition of inactive as defined in §84.2(14).

(1) Specialized driving safety courses.

(A) Educational objectives. The educational objectives of specialized driving safety courses shall include, but not be limited to improving the student's knowledge and use of, compliance with, and attitude toward the use of child passenger safety seat systems and the wearing of seat belt and other occupant restraint systems, and educating the student on the proper law enforcement procedures for traffic stops in accordance with the provisions of the Community Safety Education Act (Senate Bill 30, 85 th Regular Legislature).

(B) Specialized driving safety course content guides. A course content guide is a description of the content of the course and the techniques of instruction that will be used to present the course. For courses offered in languages other than English, the course owner shall provide a copy of the student verification of course completion document and/or contract, student instructional materials, final examination, and evaluation in the proposed language. To be approved, each course owner shall submit as part of the application a course content guide that includes the following:

(i) a statement of the course's goal and philosophy relative to occupant protection;

(ii) a statement of policies and administrative provisions related to instructor conduct, standards, and performance;

(iii) a statement of policies and administrative provisions related to student progress, attendance, makeup, and conduct. The policies and administrative provisions shall be used by each school that offers the course and include the following requirements:

(I) progress standards that meet the requirements of subparagraph (F);

(II) appropriate standards to ascertain the attendance of students. All schools approved to use the course must use the same standards for documenting attendance to include the hours scheduled each day and each hour not attended;

(III) appropriate criteria to determine course completion. If the student does not complete the entire course, including all makeup lessons, within the timeline specified by the court, no credit for instruction shall be granted;

(IV) provisions for the completion of makeup work. Any period of absence for any portion of instruction will require that the student complete that portion of instruction. All makeup lessons must be equivalent in length and content to the instruction missed and taught by a licensed instructor; and

(V) conditions for dismissal and conditions for re-entry of those students dismissed for violating the conduct policy;

(iv) a statement of policy addressing entrance requirements and special conditions of students such as the inability to read, language barriers, and other disabilities;

(v) a list of relevant instructional resources such as textbooks, audio and visual media and other instructional materials, and equipment that will be used in the course and the furniture deemed necessary to accommodate the students in the course such as tables, chairs, and other furnishings. The course shall include a minimum of 60 minutes of audio/video materials relevant to the required topics; however, the audio/video materials shall not be used in excess of 150 minutes of the 300 minutes of instruction. The resources may be included in a single list or may appear at the end of each instructional unit;

(vi) written or printed materials provided for use by each student as a guide to the course. The division may make exceptions to this requirement on an individual basis;

(vii) instructional activities to be used to present the material (lecture, films, other media, small-group discussions, workbook activities, written and oral discussion questions, etc.). When small-group discussions are planned, the course content guide shall identify the questions that will be assigned to the groups;

(viii) instructional resources for each unit;

(ix) techniques for evaluating the comprehension level of the students relative to the instructional unit. If oral or written questions are to be used to measure student comprehension levels, they shall be included in the course guide. The evaluative technique may be used throughout the unit or at the end; and

(x) a completed form cross-referencing the instructional units to the topics identified in subparagraph (D). A form to cross-reference the instructional units to the required topics and topics unique to the course will be provided by the division.

(C) Course and time management. Approved specialized driving safety courses shall be presented in compliance with the following guidelines and shall include statistical information drawn from data maintained by the Texas Department of Transportation or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

(i) A minimum of 300 minutes of instruction is required of which at least 200 minutes shall address the use of child passenger safety seat systems and the wearing of seat belt and other occupant restraint systems.

(ii) The total length of the course shall consist of a minimum of 360 minutes.

(iii) Sixty minutes of time, exclusive of the 300 minutes of instruction, shall be dedicated to break periods or to the topics included in the minimum course content. All break periods shall be provided after instruction has begun and before the comprehensive examination and summation.

(iv) Administrative procedures such as enrollment shall not be included in the 300 minutes of the course.

(v) Courses conducted in a single day in a traditional classroom setting shall allow a minimum of 30 minutes for lunch.

(vi) Courses taught over a period longer than one day shall provide breaks on a schedule equitable to those prescribed for one-day courses. However, all breaks shall be provided after the course introduction and prior to the last unit of the instructional day or the comprehensive examination and summation, whichever is appropriate.

(vii) The order of topics shall be approved by the department as part of the course approval, and for each student, the course shall be taught in the order identified in the approved application.

(viii) Students shall not receive a uniform certificate of course completion unless that student receives a grade of at least 70% on the final examination.

(ix) Specialized driving safety classrooms must have sufficient seating for the number of students, arranged so that all students are able to view, hear, and comprehend all instructional aids and the class shall have no more than 50 students.

(x) The specialized driving safety instructor or school shall make a material effort to establish the identity of the student.

(D) Minimum course content. A specialized driving safety course shall include, as a minimum, four hours of instruction that encourages the use of child passenger safety seat systems and the wearing of seat belts, etc., and materials adequate to assure the student masters the following.

(i) Course introduction--minimum of ten minutes (instructional objective--to orient students to the class). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) purpose and benefits of the course;

(II) course and facilities orientation;

(III) requirements for receiving course credit; and

(IV) student course evaluation procedures.

(ii) The occupant protection problem--minimum of 15 minutes (instructional objectives--to develop an understanding of Texas occupant protection laws and the national and state goals regarding occupant protection). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) identification of Texas Occupant Protection Laws;

(II) deaths, injuries, and economic losses related to improper use of occupant restraint systems; and

(III) national and state goals regarding occupant protection.

(iii) Factors influencing driver performance--(instructional objective--to identify the characteristics and behaviors of drivers and how they affect driving performance). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) attitudes, habits, feelings, and emotions;

(II) alcohol and other drugs;

(III) physical condition;

(IV) knowledge of driving laws and procedures including law enforcement procedures for traffic stops in accordance with the provisions of the Community Safety Education Act (Senate Bill 30, 85th Regular Legislature); and

(V) understanding the driving task.

(iv) Physical forces that influence driver control--(instructional objective--to identify the physical forces that affect driver control and vehicle performance). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) speed control (acceleration, deceleration, etc.);

(II) traction (friction, hydroplaning, stopping distances, centrifugal force, etc.); and

(III) force of impact (momentum, kinetic energy, inertia, etc.).

(v) Perceptual skills needed for driving--(instructional objective--to identify the factors of perception and how the factors affect driver performance). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) visual interpretations;

(II) hearing;

(III) touch;

(IV) smell;

(V) reaction abilities (simple and complex); and

(VI) judging speed and distance.

(vi) Occupant protection equipment--minimum of 25 minutes (instructional objective--to identify the improvements and technological advances in automotive design and construction). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) anti-lock brakes;

(II) traction control devices;

(III) suspension control devices;

(IV) electronic stability/active handling systems;

(V) crumple zones;

(VI) door latch improvements;

(VII) tempered or safety glass;

(VIII) headlights; and

(IX) visibility enhancements.

(vii) Occupant restraint systems--minimum of 40 minutes (instructional objective--to identify the rationale for having and using occupant restraints and protective equipment). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) safety belts, airbags, and other protective equipment;

(II) proper usage and necessary precautions;

(III) vehicle control and driver stability;

(IV) crash dynamics and protection; and

(V) operational principles (active versus passive).

(viii) Child passenger safety--minimum of 120 minutes (instructional objective--to understand the child passenger safety law in Texas; the importance of child safety seats; and the risks to children that are unrestrained or not properly restrained). Instruction shall address the following topics:

(I) misconceptions or mistaken ideas regarding child passenger safety;

(II) purpose of child safety seats;

(III) how to secure the child properly and factors to consider;

(IV) child safety seat types and parts;

(V) precautions regarding child safety seats;

(VI) correct installation of a child safety restraint system;

(VII) tips regarding child safety restraint systems; and

(VIII) dangers involved in locking or leaving children in vehicles unattended.

(ix) Comprehensive examination--minimum of five minutes (this shall be the last unit of instruction).

(x) The remaining 30 minutes of instruction shall be allocated to the topics included in the minimum course content or to additional occupant protection topics that satisfy the educational objectives of the course.

(E) Instructor training guides. An instructor training guide contains a description of the plan, training techniques, and curriculum to be used to train instructors to present the concepts of the approved specialized driving safety course described in the applicant's specialized driving safety course content guide. Each course provider shall submit as part of the application an instructor training guide that is bound or hole-punched and placed in a binder and that has a cover and a table of contents. The guide shall include the following:

(i) a statement of the philosophy and instructional goals of the training course;

(ii) a description of the plan to be followed in training instructors. The plan shall include, as a minimum, provisions for the following:

(I) instruction of the trainee in the course curriculum;

(II) training the trainee in the techniques of instruction that will be used in the course;

(III) training the trainee about administrative procedures and course provider policies;

(IV) demonstration of desirable techniques of instruction by the instructor trainer;

(V) a minimum of 15 minutes of instruction of the course curriculum by the trainee under the observation of the instructor trainer as part of the basic training course;

(VI) time to be dedicated to each training lesson; and

(VII) a minimum of 600 minutes of instruction of the course in a regular approved course under the observation of a licensed specialized driving safety instructor trainer. The instructor trainee shall provide instruction for two full courses. It is not mandatory that the two courses be taught as two complete courses; however, every instructional unit shall be taught twice; and

(iii) instructional units sufficient to address the provisions identified in clause (ii)(I)-(VI). The total time of the units shall contain a minimum of 16 instructional hours. Each instructional unit shall include the following:

(I) the subject of the unit;

(II) the instructional objectives of the unit;

(III) time to be dedicated to the unit;

(IV) an outline of major concepts to be presented;

(V) instructional activities to be used to present the material (i.e., lecture, films, other media, small-group discussions, workbook activities, written and oral discussion questions). When small-group discussions are planned, the course guide shall identify the questions that will be assigned to the groups;

(VI) instructional resources for each unit; and

(VII) techniques for evaluating the comprehension level of the students relative to the instructional unit. If oral or written questions are to be used to measure student comprehension levels, they shall be included in the instructor training guide. The evaluative technique may be used throughout the unit or at the end.

(F) Examinations. Each course provider shall submit for approval, as part of the application, tests designed to measure the comprehension level of students at the completion of the specialized driving safety course and the instructor training course. The comprehensive examination for each specialized driving safety course must include at least two questions from each unit, excluding the course introduction and comprehensive examination units. The final examination questions shall be of such difficulty that the answer may not easily be determined without completing the actual instruction. Instructors shall not assist students in answering the final examination questions unless alternative testing is required. Instructors may not be certified or students given credit for the specialized driving safety course unless they score 70% or more on the final test. The course content guide shall identify alternative testing techniques to be used for students with reading, hearing, or learning disabilities and policies for retesting students who score less than 70% on the final examination. The applicant may choose not to provide alternative testing techniques; however, students shall be advised whether the course provides alternative testing prior to enrollment in the course. Test questions may be short answer, multiple choice, essay, or a combination of these forms.

(G) Requirements for authorship. The course shall be authored by an individual who possesses a current or past National Highway Traffic Safety Association Child Passenger Safety technician or instructor certificate.

(2) Specialized driving safety instructor development courses.

(A) If the alternative instructor training in §84.64 of this chapter (relating to Driving Safety Instructor License Requirements) is not applicable, specialized driving safety instructors shall successfully complete 28 clock hours (50 minutes of instruction in a 60-minute period) in the approved instructor development course for the specialized driving safety course to be taught, under the supervision of a specialized driving safety instructor trainer. Supervision is considered to have occurred when the instructor trainer is present and personally provides the 28 clock hours of training for the instructors, excluding those clock hours approved by department staff that may be presented by a guest speaker or using films and other media that pertain directly to the concepts being taught.

(B) Instruction records shall be maintained by the course provider and instructor trainer for each instructor trainee and shall be available for inspection by authorized division representatives at any time during the training period and/or for license investigation purposes. The instruction record shall include the trainee's name, address, driver's license number, and other pertinent data; the name and instructor license number of the person conducting the training; and the dates of instruction, lesson time, and subject taught during each instruction period. Each record shall also include grades or other means of indicating the trainee's aptitude and development. Upon satisfactory completion of the training course the instructor trainer conducting the training will certify one copy of the instruction record for attachment to the trainee's application for licensing and one copy will be maintained in a permanent file at the course provider location.

(C) All student instruction records submitted for the department approved specialized driving safety instructor development course shall be signed by the course provider. Original documents shall be submitted.

(D) Specialized driving safety instructor development courses may be offered at approved classroom facilities of a licensed school which is approved to offer the specialized course being taught. A properly licensed instructor trainer shall present the course.

(E) Applicants shall complete 28 hours of training in the specialized driving safety curriculum that shall be taught. Of the 28 hours, 16 hours shall cover techniques of instruction and in-depth familiarization with materials contained in the specialized driving safety curriculum. The additional 12 hours shall consist of practical teaching with students and shall occur after the first 24 hours have been completed.

(F) The course provider shall submit dates of instructor development course offerings for the 16-hour training that covers techniques of instruction and in-depth familiarization with the material contained in the specialized driving safety curriculum, locations, class schedules, and scheduled instructor trainers' names and license numbers before the courses are offered. The 12-hour practical-teaching portion of the instructor development course shall be provided at properly licensed schools or classrooms approved to offer the course being provided.

(3) Continuing education courses.

(A) Each course provider will be responsible for receiving an approval for a minimum of a two-hour continuing education course. Each instructor currently endorsed to teach the course must attend the approved continuing education course conducted by the course provider.

(B) The request for course approval shall contain the following:

(i) a description of the plan by which the course will be presented;

(ii) the subject of each unit;

(iii) the instructional objectives of each unit;

(iv) time to be dedicated to each unit;

(v) instructional resources for each unit, including names or titles of presenters and facilitators;

(vi) any information that the department mandates to ensure quality of the education being provided; and

(vii) a plan by which the course provider will monitor and ensure attendance and completion of the course by the instructions within the guidelines set forth in the course.

(C) A continuing education course may be approved if the department determines that:

(i) the course constitutes an organized program of learning that enhances the instructional skills, methods, or knowledge of the specialized driving safety instructor;

(ii) the course pertains to subject matters that relate directly to driving safety or specialized safety instruction, instruction techniques, or driving safety-related subjects;

(iii) the entire course has been designed, planned, and organized by the course provider. The course provider shall use licensed driving safety or specialized driving safety instructors to provide instruction or other individuals with recognized experience or expertise in the area of driving safety or specialized driving safety instruction or driving safety-related subject matters. Evidence of the individuals' experience or expertise may be requested by the division;

(iv) the course contains updates or approved revisions to the specialized driving safety course curriculum, policies or procedures, and/or any changes to the course, that are affected by changes in traffic laws or statistical data; and

(v) the division determines that any technology used to present a continuing education course meets reasonable standards for determining attendance, security, and testing.

(b) Course providers shall submit documentation on behalf of schools applying for approval of additional courses after the original approval has been granted. The documents shall be designated by the division and include the appropriate fee. Courses shall be approved before soliciting students, advertising, or conducting classes. An approval for an additional course shall not be granted if the school's compliance is in question at the time of application.

(c) If an approved course is discontinued, the division shall be notified within five days of discontinuance and furnished with the names and addresses of any students who could not complete the course because it was discontinued. If the school does not make arrangements satisfactory to the students and the division for the completion of the courses, the full amount of all tuition and fees paid by the students are due and refundable. If arrangements are not made satisfactory to the students and the division, the refunds must be made no later than thirty (30) days after the course was discontinued. Any course discontinued shall be removed from the list of approved courses.

(d) If, upon review and consideration of an original, renewal, or amended application for course approval, the department determines that the applicant does not meet the legal requirements, the commissioner shall notify the applicant, setting forth the reasons for denial in writing.

(e) The department may revoke approval of any course given to a course owner, provider, or school under any of the following circumstances.

(1) Any information contained in the application for the course approval is found to be untrue.

(2) The school has failed to maintain the faculty, facilities, equipment, or courses of study on the basis of which approval was issued.

(3) The school and/or course provider has been found to be in violation of the Code, and/or this chapter.

(4) The course has been found to be ineffective in meeting the educational objectives set forth in subsection (a)(1)(A).

Subchapter N. Program of Instruction for Public Schools, Education Service Centers, and Colleges or Universities Course Requirements.

§84.600. Program of Organized Instruction.

(a) To be approved under this subchapter, a driver education plan shall include one or more of the following course programs.

(1) Core program. This program shall consist of at least 32 hours of classroom instruction; 7 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in the presence of a certified instructor; 7 hours of in-car observation in the presence of a certified instructor; and 30 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction, including at least 10 hours of instruction that takes place at night, verified by a parent or guardian in the presence of an adult who meets the requirements of Texas Transportation Code, §521.222(d)(2). Under this plan, a student may receive only local credit for the course.

(2) In-car only program. This program shall consist of at least 7 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in the presence of a certified instructor; 7 hours of in-car observation in the presence of a certified instructor; and 30 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction, including at least 10 hours of instruction that takes place at night, verified by a parent or guardian in the presence of an adult who meets the requirements of Texas Transportation Code, §521.222(d)(2). Under this plan, a student may receive only local credit for the course.

(3) Classroom only program. This program shall consist of at least 32 hours of classroom instruction. Under this plan, a student may receive only local credit for the course.

(4) School day credit program. This program shall consist of at least one class period per scheduled day of school, for a semester (traditional, condensed, accelerated, block, etc.), covering the driver education classroom and in-car program of organized instruction or only the classroom program of organized instruction. This class traditionally consists of at least 56 hours of driver education classroom instruction and, if in-car instruction is provided, must include 7 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in the presence of a certified instructor; 7 hours of in-car observation in the presence of a certified instructor; and 30 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction, including at least 10 hours of instruction that takes place at night, verified by a parent or guardian in the presence of an adult who meets the requirements of Texas Transportation Code, §521.222(d)(2). Under this plan, a student may receive one-half unit of state credit toward graduation.

(5) Non-school day credit program. This program shall consist of at least 56 hours of driver education classroom instruction, and, if in-car instruction is provided, must include 7 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in the presence of a certified instructor; 7 hours of in-car observation in the presence of a certified instructor; and 30 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction, including at least 10 hours of instruction that takes place at night, verified by a parent or guardian in the presence of an adult who meets the requirements of Texas Transportation Code, §521.222(d)(2). Under this plan, a student may receive one-half unit of state credit toward graduation.

(6) Multi-phase school day or non-school day credit program. This program shall consist of at least 40 hours of driver education classroom instruction; 4 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in the presence of a certified instructor; 8 hours of in-car observation in the presence of a certified instructor; 12 hours of simulator instruction in the presence of a certified instructor; and 30 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction, including at least 10 hours of instruction that takes place at night, verified by a parent or guardian in the presence of an adult who meets the requirements of Texas Transportation Code, §521.222(d)(2). Under this plan, a student may receive one-half unit of state credit toward graduation.

(b) The minimum requirements of the driver education program must be met regardless of how the course is scheduled. The following applies to all minor and adult driver education programs.

(1) Driver education programs may be scheduled in block or concurrent form.

(A) Block form is when the classroom phase is taught as a separate, complete unit before the in-car phase begins.

(B) Concurrent form is when the classroom and the in-car phases are taught simultaneously or on alternating days.

(2) Instruction may be scheduled any day of the week, during regular school hours, before or after school, and during the summer.

(3) Instruction shall not be scheduled before 5:00 a.m. or after 11:00 p.m. The superintendent, college or university chief school official, or education service center (ESC) director may approve exceptions to the scheduled hours of instruction and must include acceptance in writing of the exception by the parents or legal guardians for each of the students involved.

(4) The driver education classroom phase must have uniform beginning and ending dates. Students shall proceed in a uniform sequence. Students shall be enrolled and in class before the 7th hour of classroom instruction in a 32-hour program and the 12th hour of classroom instruction in 56-hour or semester-length programs.

(5) Self-study assignments occurring during regularly scheduled class periods shall not exceed 25% of the course and shall be presented to the entire class simultaneously.

(6) The driver education course shall be completed within the timelines established by the superintendent, college or university chief school official, or ESC director. This shall not circumvent attendance or progress. Variances to the established timelines shall be determined by the superintendent, college or university chief school official, or ESC director and must be agreed to by the parent or legal guardian.

(7) Schools are allowed five minutes of break within each instructional hour in all phases of instruction. A break is an interruption in a course of instruction occurring after the lesson introduction and before the lesson summation. It is recommended that the five minutes of break be provided outside the time devoted to behind-the-wheel instruction so students receive a total of seven hours of instruction.

(8) A student shall not receive credit for more than four hours of driver education training at a school in one calendar day no matter what combination of training is provided, excluding makeup. Further, for each calendar day, a student shall be limited to a maximum of:

(A) two hours of classroom instruction;

(B) four hours of observation time;

(C) two hours of multicar range driving;

(D) three hours of simulation instruction; and

(E) one hour of behind-the-wheel instruction.

(9) Driver education training verified by the parent is limited to one hour per day.

(c) Course content, minimum instruction requirements, and administrative guidelines for each phase of driver education classroom instruction, in-car training (behind-the-wheel and observation), simulation, and multicar range shall include the instructional objectives established by the commissioner of education, as specified in this subsection, and meet the requirements of this subchapter. Sample instructional modules may be obtained from the department. Schools may use sample instructional modules developed by the department or develop their own instructional modules based on the approved instructional objectives. The instructional objectives are organized into the modules outlined in this subsection and include objectives for classroom and in-car training (behind-the-wheel and observation), simulation lessons, parental involvement activities, and evaluation techniques. In addition, the instructional objectives that must be provided to every student enrolled in a minor and adult driver education course include information relating to litter prevention; anatomical gifts; distractions, including the use of a wireless communication device that includes texting; motorcycle awareness; alcohol awareness and the effect of alcohol on the effective operation of a motor vehicle; and recreational water safety. A student may apply to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) for an instruction permit after completing six hours of instruction as specified in Module One if the student is taking the course in a concurrent program. The minor and adult driver education program instructional objectives shall include:

(1) Module One: Traffic Laws. The student legally and responsibly performs reduced-risk driving practices in the Highway Transportation System (HTS) by:

(A) accepting driving as a privilege with responsibilities, obligations, and potential consequences; and

(B) applying knowledge and understanding of Texas traffic laws, including traffic control devices, right-of-way laws and law enforcement procedures for traffic stops in accordance with the provisions of the Community Safety Education Act (Senate Bill 30, 85th Regular Legislature).

(2) Module Two: Driver Preparation. The student legally and responsibly performs reduced-risk driving practices in the HTS by:

(A) employing pre-drive tasks;

(B) using and requiring passengers to use occupant protection and restraint systems, including the proper use of child passenger safety seat systems;

(C) using vehicle symbols and devices;

(D) employing starting tasks;

(E) performing vehicle operation and control tasks;

(F) employing post-drive tasks;

(G) using baseline and progress assessment tools to evaluate and improve behind-the-wheel skill level; and

(H) formulating a driving plan.

(3) Module Three: Vehicle Movements. The student legally and responsibly performs reduced-risk driving practices in the HTS by:

(A) sustaining visual attention and communication;

(B) using reference points;

(C) managing vehicle balance: and

(D) executing vehicle maneuvers.

(4) Module Four: Driver Readiness. The student legally and responsibly performs reduced-risk driving practices in the HTS by:

(A) employing legal and responsible driving practices; and

(B) limiting and managing fatigue and aggressive driving.

(5) Module Five: Risk Management. The student legally and responsibly performs reduced-risk driving practices in the HTS by:

(A) predicting, analyzing, and minimizing risk factors, including the dangers of failing to yield the right-of-way to a motorcyclist and the need to share the road with motorcycles; and

(B) employing a space management system.

(6) Module Six: Environmental Factors. The student legally and responsibly performs reduced-risk driving practices in the HTS by:

(A) identifying and analyzing driving environments; and

(B) minimizing environmental risk.

(7) Module Seven: Distractions. The student legally and responsibly performs reduced-risk driving practices in the HTS by limiting and managing distractions, including the use of a wireless communication device that includes texting, and multi-task performances.

(8) Module Eight: Alcohol and Other Drugs. The student legally and responsibly performs reduced-risk driving practices in the HTS by adopting zero-tolerance practices related to the use of alcohol and other drugs by applying knowledge and understanding of alcohol and other drug laws, regulations, penalties, and consequences to licensing, driving, and lifestyles.

(9) Module Nine: Adverse Conditions. The student legally and responsibly performs reduced-risk driving practices in the HTS by managing adverse conditions resulting from weather, reduced-visibility, traction loss, and emergencies.

(10) Module Ten: Vehicle Requirements. The student legally and responsibly performs reduced-risk driving practices in the HTS by:

(A) assessing and managing vehicle malfunctions;

(B) performing preventative maintenance; and

(C) planning trips.

(11) Module Eleven: Consumer Responsibilities. The student legally and responsibly performs reduced-risk driving practices in the HTS by:

(A) attending to the vehicle requirements by making wise consumer decisions regarding vehicle use and ownership;

(B) vehicle insurance;

(C) environmental protection and litter prevention;

(D) anatomical gifts; and

(E) recreational water safety.

(12) Module Twelve: Personal Responsibilities. The student legally and responsibly performs reduced-risk driving practices in the HTS by:

(A) using the knowledge, skills, and experiences of the Driver Education and Traffic Safety Program;

(B) obtaining and using a driver license; and

(C) continuing the lifelong learning process of reduced-risk driving practices.

(d) A school may use multimedia systems, simulators, and multicar driving ranges for instruction in a driver education program.

(e) Each simulator, including the filmed instructional programs, and each plan for a multicar driving range must meet state specifications developed by the DPS and the department. Simulators are electromechanical equipment that provides for teacher evaluation of perceptual, judgmental, and decision-making performance of individuals and groups. With simulation, group learning experiences permit students to operate vehicular controls in response to audiovisual depiction of traffic environments and driving emergencies. The specifications are available from the department.

(f) A minimum of 4 periods of at least 55 minutes per hour of instruction in a simulator may be substituted for 1 hour of behind-the-wheel and 1 hour observation instruction. A minimum of 2 periods of at least 55 minutes per hour of multicar driving range instruction may be substituted for 1 hour of behind-the-wheel and 1 hour observation instruction relating to elementary or city driving lessons. However, a minimum of four hours must be devoted to behind-the-wheel instruction and a minimum of four hours must be devoted to observation instruction.

(g) A school may not permit more than 36 students per driver education class, excluding makeup students.

(h) All behind-the-wheel lessons shall consist of actual driving instruction. Observation of the instructor, mechanical demonstrations, etc., shall not be counted for behind-the-wheel instruction. The instructor shall be in the vehicle with the student the entire time behind-the-wheel instruction is provided.

(i) Minor and adult driver education programs shall include the following components.

(1) Driver education instruction is limited to eligible students between the ages of 14-18 years of age, who are at least 14 years of age when the driver education classroom phase begins and who will be 15 years of age or older when the behind-the-wheel instruction begins. Students officially enrolled in school who are 18-21 years of age may attend a minor and adult driver education program.

(2) Motion picture films, slides, videos, tape recordings, and other media that present concepts outlined in the instructional objectives may be used as part of the required instructional hours of the classroom instruction. Units scheduled to be instructed may also be conducted by guest speakers as part of the required hours of instruction. Together, these shall not exceed 640 minutes of the total classroom phase.

(3) Each classroom student shall be provided a driver education textbook or driver education instructional materials approved by the department.

(4) A copy of the current edition of the "Texas Driver Handbook" published by DPS shall be furnished to each student enrolled in the classroom phase of the driver education course.

(5) No school should permit a ratio of less than two, or more than four, students per instructor for behind-the-wheel instruction, except behind-the-wheel instruction may be provided for only one student when it is not practical to instruct more than one student, for makeup lessons, or if a hardship would result if scheduled instruction is not provided. In each case when only one student is instructed:

(A) the school shall obtain a waiver signed and dated by the parent or legal guardian of the student and the chief school official stating that the parent or legal guardian understands that the student may be provided behind-the-wheel instruction on a one-on-one basis with only the instructor and student present in the vehicle during instruction;

(B) the waiver may be provided for any number of lessons; however, the waiver shall specify the exact number of lessons for which the parent is providing the waiver; and

(C) the waiver shall be signed before the first lesson in which the parent is granting permission for the student to receive one-on-one instruction.

(j) Courses offered to adult persons who are 18 years of age or older shall only be offered by colleges and universities. Colleges and universities that offer driver education to adults shall submit and receive written approval for the course from the department prior to implementation of the program. The request for approval must include a syllabus, list of instructors, samples of instructional records that will be used with the course, and information necessary for approval of the program.

This agency hereby certifies that the adoption has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be a valid exercise of the agency’s legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State, on June 4, 2018.


Brian E. Francis
Executive Director
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation