DPS announces new required distracted driving course - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

DPS announces new required distracted driving course

Inside the Texas Department of Public Safety License Office. Tyler, TX location. Inside the Texas Department of Public Safety License Office. Tyler, TX location.
Texas Department of Public Safety Office (Tyler) Texas Department of Public Safety Office (Tyler)
Distracted Driving lesson from the Texas Drivers Handbook Distracted Driving lesson from the Texas Drivers Handbook
EAST TEXAS (KLTV) -

1 in 5 traffic crashes in Texas are caused by distracted driving, a problem that worries Jessica Cruz, an East Texas parent.

“I was driving by a woman the other day; she wasn’t paying attention and she actually hit a truck,” says Cruz. “This stuff happens when you’re putting on your makeup or brushing your hair.”

Cruz says that as a mother of three, she worries about her children's safety while out on the road but, starting next month, a new requirement for obtaining a Texas license might help change that. 

The Texas Department of Public Safety says starting September 1, the online course entitled 'Impact Young Texas Drivers' will be required for anyone over 18. The research-based course is designed to educate young drivers on the dangers of distracted driving.

While most people believe that cell phones are the main cause of distracted driving Sergeant Jean Dark with DPS says that’s not always the case.

“Distracted driving is anything that would take your attention off driving the vehicle,” says Dark. “We’re replaying a conversation that we had with our boss or with our family member, and that can be a distraction. We have the radio on, that can be a distraction, food in vehicles can be a distraction, too.”

The different types of distractions will be outlined through true stories included in the course.

The course does not apply to those who already have a license, however, it’s free, and Dark says anyone wanting to learn more about distracted driving is able to take it.

This is the second course in the Impact Texas Drivers program. The first course, developed in 2015, was for drivers’ age 15 through 17. DPS says a third course will be announced specifically for drivers 25 and older in 2018.

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