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TITLE 16ECONOMIC REGULATION
PART 4TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING AND REGULATION
CHAPTER 84DRIVER EDUCATION AND SAFETY
SUBCHAPTER NPROGRAM INSTRUCTION FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS, EDUCATION SERVICE CENTERS, AND COLLEGES OR UNIVERSITIES COURSE REQUIREMENTS
RULE §84.600Program of Organized Instruction

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

  (1) Core program. This program must consist of at least 32 hours of classroom instruction; seven hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in the presence of a certified instructor; seven 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).

  (2) In-car only program. This program must consist of at least seven hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in the presence of a certified instructor; seven 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).

  (3) Classroom only program. This program must consist of at least 32 hours of classroom instruction.

(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) A learner portion of a DE-964 must be issued to a student to obtain a learner's license upon completion of Module One of the POI-DE. A driver license portion of the DE-964 must be given when all in-car laboratory and classroom instruction has been completed by the student.

  (2) In-car laboratory lessons may be given only after the student has obtained a learner's license.

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

  (4) Instruction must not be scheduled before 5:00 a.m. or after 11:00 p.m.

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

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

  (7) The driver education course must be completed within the timelines established by the superintendent, college or university chief school official, or ESC director. This must not circumvent attendance or progress. Variances to the established timelines must 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.

  (8) Public 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.

  (9) A student must not receive credit for more than four hours of driver education training at a public school in one calendar day no matter what combination of training is provided, excluding makeup. Further, for each calendar day, a student is 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.

  (10) 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 must include the instructional objectives established by the department, as specified in this subsection and the POI-DE, 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; safely operating a vehicle near oversize or overweight vehicles; 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 a learner's license after completing six hours of instruction as specified in Module One of the POI-DE.

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

(e) Each simulator, including the instructional programs, and each plan for a multicar driving range must meet state specifications developed by 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 four periods of at least 55 minutes per hour of instruction in a simulator may be substituted for one hour of behind-the-wheel and one hour observation instruction. A minimum of two periods of at least 55 minutes per hour of multicar driving range instruction may be substituted for one hour of behind-the-wheel and one 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 must consist of actual driving instruction. Observation of the instructor, mechanical demonstrations, etc., must not be counted for behind-the-wheel instruction. The instructor must be in the vehicle with the student during the entire time behind-the-wheel instruction is provided.

(i) Minor and adult driver education programs must 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 must not exceed 640 minutes of the total classroom phase.

  (3) Each classroom student must 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 must be furnished to each student enrolled in the classroom phase of the driver education course.

  (5) No public 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 must 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 must specify the exact number of lessons for which the parent is providing the waiver; and

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

(j) Colleges and universities that offer driver education to adults must 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.


Source Note: The provisions of this §84.600 adopted to be effective April 1, 2017, 42 TexReg 1400; amended to be effective March 15, 2018, 43 TexReg 1431; amended to be effective July 1, 2018, 43 TexReg 3875; amended to be effective March 15, 2020, 45 TexReg 1698; amended to be effective September 1, 2020, 45 TexReg 6069; amended to be effective September 1, 2021, 46 TexReg 5394; amended to be effective June 1, 2023, 48 TexReg 2702

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