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RULE §84.502Driving Safety Courses of Instruction

This section contains requirements for traditional classroom driving safety courses. For each course, the following curriculum documents and materials are required to be submitted as part of the application for approval. Courses of instruction must not be approved that contain language that a reasonable and prudent individual would consider inappropriate. Any changes and updates to a course must be submitted by the driving safety provider and approved prior to being offered.

  (1) Driving safety courses.

    (A) Educational objectives. The educational objectives of driving safety courses must include, but not be limited to, promoting respect for and encouraging observance of traffic laws and traffic safety responsibilities of drivers and citizens; 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)); 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 (2017)); the proper use of child passenger safety seat systems; safely operating a 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; 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 driving safety provider must provide 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 driver safety course. To be approved, each driving safety provider must 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 techniques of instruction, standards, and performance;

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

        (I) appropriate standards to ascertain the attendance of students. All driving safety providers must use appropriate standards for documenting attendance to include the hours scheduled each day and each hour not attended;

        (II) 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;

        (III) any period of absence for any portion of instruction will require that the student complete that portion of instruction in a manner determined by the driving safety provider; and

        (IV) 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 must not be used in excess of 165 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 department 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 must 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 of the COI-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 driving safety courses must be presented in compliance with the following guidelines and must 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 must consist of a minimum of 360 minutes.

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

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

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

      (vi) Courses taught over a period longer than one day must provide breaks on a schedule equitable to those prescribed for one-day courses. However, all breaks must 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 must be approved by the department as part of the course approval, and for each student, the course must be taught in the order identified in the approved application.

      (viii) Students must not receive a uniform certificate of course completion unless that student receives a grade of at least 70 percent 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 must have no more than 50 students.

      (x) The driving safety provider must make a material effort to establish the identity of the student.

    (D) Minimum course content. Driving Safety course content, including video and multimedia, must include current statistical data, references to law, driving procedures, and traffic safety methodology, as shown in the COI-Driving Safety to assure student mastery of the subject matter.

    (E) 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. The comprehensive examination for each driving safety course must include at least two questions from the required units set forth in Chapter Four, Topics Two through Twelve of the COI-Driving Safety, 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. Provider-designated persons who offer or provide instruction must not assist students in answering the final examination questions but may facilitate alternative testing. Students must not be given credit for the driving safety course unless they score 70 percent or more on the final test. The provider must 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 provider 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.

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

    (G) Renewal of course approval. The course approval must be renewed every even-numbered 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 department may alter the due date of the renewal documents by giving the approved course six months' notice. The department 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.

    (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 any course given to a provider under any of the following circumstances:

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

  (3) The school has failed to maintain the courses of study on the basis of which approval was issued;

  (4) The provider has been found to be in violation of the Code, and/or this chapter; or

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

Source Note: The provisions of this §84.502 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 May 1, 2022, 47 TexReg 2522; amended to be effective June 1, 2023, 48 TexReg 2702

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