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RULE §176.1109Specialized Driving Safety Courses of Instruction

(a) This section contains requirements for specialized driving safety courses, instructor development courses, and continuing education. For each course, the following curriculum documents and materials are required to be submitted as part of the application for approval. Except as provided by §176.1110 of this title (relating to Alternative Delivery Methods of Driving Safety Instruction), all course content shall be delivered under the direct observation of a specialized driving safety licensed instructor. Courses of instruction shall not be approved that contain language that a reasonable and prudent individual would consider inappropriate. Any changes and updates to a course shall be submitted and approved prior to being offered. Approval will be revoked for any course that meets the definition of inactive as defined in §176.1101 of this title (relating to Definitions).

  (1) Specialized driving safety courses.

    (A) Educational objectives. The educational objectives of specialized driving safety courses shall include, but not be limited to improving the student's knowledge, compliance with, and attitude toward the use of child passenger safety seat systems and the wearing of seat belt and other occupant restraint systems.

    (B) Specialized 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 course owner shall provide a copy of the student verification of course completion document and/or contract, student instructional materials, final examination, and evaluation in the proposed language accompanied by a statement from a translator with current credentials from the American Translators Association or the National Association of Judicial Interpreters and Translators that the materials are the same in both languages. In lieu of the specified credentials, a translator's credentials may be presented to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for approval with the final determination based solely on TEA's interpretation. To be approved, each course owner shall submit as part of the application a course content guide that includes the following:

      (i) a statement of the course's goal and philosophy relative to occupant protection;

      (ii) a statement of policies and administrative provisions related to instructor conduct, standards, and performance;

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

        (I) progress standards that meet the requirements of subparagraph (F) of this paragraph;

        (II) appropriate standards to ascertain the attendance of students. All schools approved to use the course must use the same standards for documenting attendance to include the hours scheduled each day and each hour not attended;

        (III) appropriate criteria to determine course completion. 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;

        (IV) provisions for the completion of makeup work. Any period of absence for any portion of instruction will require that the student complete that portion of instruction. All makeup lessons must be equivalent in length and content to the instruction missed and taught by a licensed instructor; and

        (V) 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 shall not be used in excess of 150 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 provided for use by each student as a guide to the course. The division 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 shall 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 subparagraph (D) of this paragraph. A form to cross-reference the instructional units to the required topics and topics unique to the course will be provided by the division.

    (C) Course and time management. Approved specialized driving safety courses shall be presented in compliance with the following guidelines and shall 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 of which at least 200 minutes shall address the use of child passenger safety seat systems and the wearing of seat belt and other occupant restraint systems.

      (ii) The total length of the course shall consist of a minimum of 360 minutes.

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

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

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

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

      (viii) Students shall not receive a uniform certificate of course completion unless that student receives a grade of at least 70% on the final examination.

      (ix) Specialized driving safety classrooms must have 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 shall have no more than 50 students.

      (x) The specialized driving safety instructor or school shall make a material effort to establish the identity of the student.

    (D) Minimum course content. A specialized driving safety course shall include, as a minimum, four hours of instruction that encourages the use of child passenger safety seat systems and the wearing of seat belts, etc., and materials adequate to assure the student masters the following.

      (i) Course introduction--minimum of ten minutes (instructional objective--to orient students to the class). Instruction shall address the following topics:

        (I) purpose and benefits of the course;

        (II) course and facilities orientation;

        (III) requirements for receiving course credit; and

        (IV) student course evaluation procedures.

      (ii) The occupant protection problem--minimum of 15 minutes (instructional objectives--to develop an understanding of Texas occupant protection laws and the national and state goals regarding occupant protection). Instruction shall address the following topics:

        (I) identification of Texas Occupant Protection Laws;

        (II) deaths, injuries, and economic losses related to improper use of occupant restraint systems; and

        (III) national and state goals regarding occupant protection.

      (iii) Factors influencing driver performance--(instructional objective--to identify the characteristics and behaviors of drivers and how they affect driving performance). Instruction shall address the following topics:

        (I) attitudes, habits, feelings, and emotions;

        (II) alcohol and other drugs;

        (III) physical condition;

        (IV) knowledge of driving laws and procedures; and

        (V) understanding the driving task.

      (iv) Physical forces that influence driver control--(instructional objective--to identify the physical forces that affect driver control and vehicle performance). Instruction shall address the following topics:

        (I) speed control (acceleration, deceleration, etc.);

        (II) traction (friction, hydroplaning, stopping distances, centrifugal force, etc.); and

        (III) force of impact (momentum, kinetic energy, inertia, etc.).

      (v) Perceptual skills needed for driving--(instructional objective--to identify the factors of perception and how the factors affect driver performance). Instruction shall address the following topics:

        (I) visual interpretations;

        (II) hearing;

        (III) touch;

        (IV) smell;

        (V) reaction abilities (simple and complex); and

        (VI) judging speed and distance.

      (vi) Occupant protection equipment--minimum of 25 minutes (instructional objective--to identify the improvements and technological advances in automotive design and construction). Instruction shall address the following topics:

        (I) anti-lock brakes;

        (II) traction control devices;

        (III) suspension control devices;

        (IV) electronic stability/active handling systems;

        (V) crumple zones;

        (VI) door latch improvements;

        (VII) tempered or safety glass;

        (VIII) headlights; and

        (IX) visibility enhancements.

      (vii) Occupant restraint systems--minimum of 40 minutes (instructional objective--to identify the rationale for having and using occupant restraints and protective equipment). Instruction shall address the following topics:

        (I) safety belts, airbags, and other protective equipment;

        (II) proper usage and necessary precautions;

        (III) vehicle control and driver stability;

        (IV) crash dynamics and protection; and

        (V) operational principles (active versus passive).

      (viii) Child passenger safety--minimum of 120 minutes (instructional objective--to understand the child passenger safety law in Texas; the importance of child safety seats; and the risks to children that are unrestrained or not properly restrained). Instruction shall address the following topics:

        (I) misconceptions or mistaken ideas regarding child passenger safety;

        (II) purpose of child safety seats;

        (III) how to secure the child properly and factors to consider;

        (IV) child safety seat types and parts;

        (V) precautions regarding child safety seats;

        (VI) correct installation of a child safety restraint system;

        (VII) tips regarding child safety restraint systems; and

        (VIII) dangers involved in locking or leaving children in vehicles unattended.

      (ix) Comprehensive examination--minimum of five minutes (this shall be the last unit of instruction).

      (x) The remaining 30 minutes of instruction shall be allocated to the topics included in the minimum course content or to additional occupant protection topics that satisfy the educational objectives of the course.

    (E) Instructor training guides. An instructor training guide contains a description of the plan, training techniques, and curriculum to be used to train instructors to present the concepts of the approved specialized driving safety course described in the applicant's specialized driving safety course content guide. Each course provider shall submit as part of the application an instructor training guide that is bound or hole-punched and placed in a binder and that has a cover and a table of contents. The guide shall include the following:

      (i) a statement of the philosophy and instructional goals of the training course;

      (ii) a description of the plan to be followed in training instructors. The plan shall include, as a minimum, provisions for the following:


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