The Texas Department of Public Safety announced a new one-hour driving course to educate drivers on the dangers of distracted driving. The Impact Texas Young Drivers course will be required for certain drivers beginning Sept. 1.
Starting Sept. 1, all skills examination applicants 18 and older must complete the free ITYD course and obtain proof of course completion prior to taking the driving skills examination. Drivers 18 to 24 must also complete the 6-hour adult driver education course prior to the skills examination.
Sgt. D.L Wilson with the Texas Department of Public Safety thinks this course will help to make the Texas roadways safer for everyone.
“Driving is the most dangerous thing you’ll ever do on a daily basis," said Sgt. Wilson. "The things I see out there, it's horrific."
The Impact Texas Young Drivers course includes a one-hour video, filled with statistics and stories from local Texans that will tug at your heart strings.
“They’ll learn the dangers of distracted driving. They’ll see heart-wrenching videos of parents and families and friends that have been impacted by people making the unfortunate choice to drive distractedly,” said Tonya Dansby, owner of Central Texas Driving School. "It can be a little sad, but it definitely informs us of the dangers of distracted driving.”
Mackenzie Rose is a student at Central Texas Driving School who watched the distracted driving video.
“This girl hit them while she was texting and driving and killed their child. Their 2-year-old child," said Rose. "I don’t want to text and drive or know anybody who does text and drive because that’s sad that somebody died and people die every day because you could’ve just been off your phone.”
According to StopTextsStopWrecks.org, texting is one of the most alarming distractions since it requires visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver. Other forms of distracted driving include fumbling with the radio, chatting with your passengers and eating or drinking while you're behind the wheel.
Starting in 2018, Sgt. Wilson said the course will become a requirement for all drivers who renew their license.
"If we can help 10 people out of 100, we did good," said Sgt. Wilson.
ITYD is the second course offered through he Impact Texas Driver (ITD) program, which was developed by DPS in 2015 to help save lives through awareness and education related to distracted driving.
For more information about Impact Texas Drivers, visit https://ImpactTexasDrivers.dps.texas.gov.
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