Texas fights distracted driving with new DL requirement
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will implement a new driver’s education requirement Sept. 1 that mandates all drivers 18 and older participate in a one-hour driving course on distracted driving.
The Impact Texas Young Drivers (ITYD) course tackles one of the biggest safety issues today: the plethora of mobile devices, as well as bad driving habits, that facilitate distracted driving.
“Driving is one of the most dangerous things we do on a daily basis, and it should command our undivided attention,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “This new component of the department’s distracted driving initiative uses research and compelling true stories to highlight the many risks facing drivers. This important program is designed to provide Texas drivers with critical information to help keep their focus on driving – and to ultimately save lives on Texas roadways.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving caused more than 3,400 fatal collisions in 2015 alone. NHTSA also estimates that about 660,000 drivers in the U.S. continue to use electronic devices while driving every day.
The ITYD course is the second offered by the state’s Impact Texas Drivers program, which was developed to educate the public on the dangers of distracted driving. The first, launched in 2015, targeted only new 16- and 17-year-old drivers. A third course, Impact Texas Adult Drivers – specifically for drivers 25 and older – will be announced in 2018.