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TITLE 16ECONOMIC REGULATION
PART 4TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING AND REGULATION
CHAPTER 84DRIVER EDUCATION AND SAFETY
SUBCHAPTER MCURRICULUM AND ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF INSTRUCTION
RULE §84.503Specialized 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 (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 course 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 information relating to human trafficking prevention in accordance with the provisions of the Julia Wells Act (Senate Bill 1831, Section 3, 87th Regular Legislature (2021)); 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; safe operation of a motor vehicle near oversize or overweight vehicles; the passing of certain vehicles as described in Transportation Code §545.157; the dangers and consequences of street racing; 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, 85th Regular Legislature (2017)).

    (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 written declaration affirming that the translation of the course materials is true and correct in the proposed language presented. Such materials are subject to the approval of the department prior to its use in a specialized driver safety course. 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 Chapter Four, Topics Two through Nine of the COI-Specialized Driving Safety. A form to cross-reference the instructional units to the required topics and topics unique to the course will be provided by the department.

    (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 percent 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, as shown in the COI-Specialized Driving Safety, that encourages the use of child passenger safety seat systems and the wearing of seat belts, etc., and materials adequate to assure student mastery of the subject matter.

    (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 percent 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 percent 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 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 Cont'd...

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