Driver’s Ed Chapter 31

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In addition to licensed Texas residents, the following drivers are legally allowed to operate a motor vehicle on Texas roads:

Any nonresident of at least 16 years of age who is in possession of a valid (Class C or M) drivers license issued by his or her home state. Nonresidents over 18 years old may operate a vehicle in Texas that they are licensed to drive in their home state.
Properly-licensed drivers who have moved to Texas within the last 90 days. After 90 days, a new resident must obtain a Texas drivers license.
Any person temporarily driving or operating a road machine, farm tractor, or instrument of husbandry on a highway, unless the vehicle is a Commercial Motor Vehicle.

The driver of an official motor vehicle in the service of the U.S. or state military service, unless the vehicle is a Commercial Motor Vehicle Any nonresident on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces with a valid license from his or her home state as well as his or her licensed spouse and children. Anyone on active duty who was issued a valid license by the U.S. Armed Forces while in a foreign country may operate a motor vehicle in Texas for up to 90 days after returning to the United States. The Texas drivers license of a resident who enters or is in the U.S. Armed Forces will remain valid as long as he or she continues to serve and remains outside of Texas, and for up to 90 days after he or she leaves the Armed Forces or returns to Texas, unless the license is suspended, revoked, or cancelled sooner.

The license that most Texas drivers obtain is a standard Class C classified drivers license. Applicants for a Class C license must be 18, or 16 if they have completed Phase One of the GDL program.
The Class C license allows a person to drive a single-unit vehicle that weighs no more than 26,000 lbs, and to tow a trailer of no more than 10,000 lbs. A driver with a Class C license may also operate a farm trailer of no more than 20,000 lbs. However, this license does not allow the operator to drive a motorcycle or moped.

To drive a vehicle larger than those permitted by a Class C license, you must obtain a Class A or Class B license. A Class A license permits a person to operate a vehicle of over 26,000 lbs while towing a vehicle of over 10,000 lbs, as well as to drive any vehicle permitted under Class B and Class C licenses. A Class B license permits a person to drive a vehicle of over 26,000 lbs while towing a vehicle of less than 10,000 lbs, a bus with a seating capacity of 24 or more occupants, including the driver, and any vehicle permitted under a Class C license.

Drivers must be 18 years old to apply for a Class A or Class B license, or 17 years old if they have completed an approved drivers education course, including all classroom and in-car instruction.
Drivers under 18 years old must pay a fee of $15 for a Class A, B, or C license that will expire when they turn 18. Licenses are issued for a period of six years to drivers over 18 for a fee of $24.
Please note that you will also be charged an administrative fee of $1 every time you conduct business with the DPS.

To drive a motorcycle or moped, you must obtain a Class M license. In general, drivers must be 18 years old to obtain a Class M license. However: At 16, drivers may obtain a Class M license to operate a motorcycle if they hold a valid license and have completed the 32-hour classroom portion of an approved drivers ed course and a 16-hour DPS-approved motorcycle operator training course. At 15, drivers may obtain a Class M license to operate a moped or motor-driven cycle with a motor of 250cc piston displacement or less if they have completed the 32-hour classroom and 16-hour operator training requirements.

For drivers under 18, the fee for obtaining a Class M license is the same as that for Class A, B, and C licenses, $15. For a fee of $32, a Class M license will be issued to a drivers 18 and over for a period of six years.
If you plan to travel both by car and by motorcycle, you may add a Class M endorsement to your valid Class A, B, or C license for a fee of $15. When you next renew your license, it will cost you an additional $8 to renew the endorsement.

If you demonstrate certain limitations as a driver, the DPS may place restrictions on your license requiring that you drive only if these restrictions are met. These restrictions aren’t meant to interfere with your driving but to make sure you’re as safe a driver as possible. A code letter will be placed on your license indicating the type of restriction. These codes include: A: The driver must wear corrective lenses B: The driver must be accompanied by a licensed operator over 21 who must remain in the front seat C: The driver must drive only in the daytime D: The driver must not exceed a speed of 45 mph E: The driver must not drive on expressway P: A specific restriction will be stated on the license

I: The motorcycle driver is restricted to vehicles with no more than 250cc piston displacement
J: The motorcycle driver must ride in sight of a licensed operator at least 21 years old
K: The motorcycle driver is restricted to operating a moped
N: The driver must operate a vehicle equipped with an Ignition Interlock Device
S: The driver must employ an outside mirror or hearing aid
T: The driver must use a vehicle with an automatic transmission
U: The driver must use the specified prosthetic device
W: The driver must use a vehicle with power steering
Z: The driver must use the specified vehicle device

To remove a restriction from your license, you must contact your local drivers license office or a drivers license trooper. Drivers license troopers are the agents of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) responsible for issuing licenses and maintaining licensing records.

You will also be allowed to specify certain preferences and medical conditions on your drivers license. All licenses provide a space for the licensee to indicate any drug allergies the license holder may have. On the reverse of the drivers license, the DPS is required to print the statements Directive to physician has been filed at telephone # and Emergency contact telephone #. You will be able to fill in this information and there will be space to indicate for what purpose the number applies. There will also be space on the license for you to voluntarily list health conditions that may impede communications with a peace officer.


When you visit the drivers license office, you’ll be offered a Donate Life Texas pamphlet that explains organ donation. You’ll be able to indicate whether you intend to become an eye, tissue, or organ donor.
Male drivers over 18 will be asked to register for selective service when they visit the drivers license office, if they have not already done so.
Visitors to the drivers license office will be invited to complete a voter registration form.

In the event that your license or ID is lost or destroyed, or if your name, address, or other information has changed, you can apply for a duplicate license or ID at your local drivers license office for a fee of $10. Name and address changes should be reported within 30 days. You may request a change of address duplicate license at the Texas DPS website. If your license is expiring in less than 12 months, or your provisional license is expiring in less than 30 days, you should renew your license rather than request a duplicate in these circumstances.

About six weeks before your license is due to expire, you will be mailed a renewal notice card (at the last address you gave to the DPS). You must renew your license whether or not you receive this notice.
In general, you will have to renew your license in person at a drivers license office. However, some licensees will be invited by the DPS to renew through an alternate means. When renewing, you will have to answer questions about your medical history, and your case may be referred to the Texas Medical Advisory Board if circumstances warrant.
You may check online or by phone to find out if you are eligible to renew by alternate means, such as online, through the mail, or by phone at 1-866-DL-RENEW.

People that will not be allowed to renew their license by alternate means include: Drivers whose license has been suspended, cancelled, revoked, or denied Commercial, occupational, or provisional license holders Licensees with restrictions concerning driving ability or medical condition Licensees who do not have a social security number or photo on file Individuals subject to sex offender registration requirements Individuals over 79 years old

Driving without a license is a serious crime. By driving without a license, you demonstrate disrespect for other drivers, the licensing system, and, if your license has been suspended or revoked, law enforcement and the court system in the state of Texas.

If you drive on a suspended license, you are guilty of Driving While License Invalid. Your suspension will be extended for the same amount of time as the original suspension and you will be fined up to $500. In addition, you’ll be fined up to $2,000 and face up to 180 days in jail for driving without a valid license if: You have a previous conviction for the same offense on your record You are also found to be driving without insurance Your suspension was imposed for a drunk driving offense If, while driving without a valid license or insurance, you’re responsible for a crash in which someone is injured or killed, you will be fined up to $4,000 and face up to a year in jail.

If you intend to drive a vehicle for business or employment, you must obtain a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) rather than a classified license. A driver must be 18 years old to obtain a CDL valid for driving within Texas, and 21 to obtain a CDL valid for interstate commerce.
You can obtain a Class A, B, or C commercial license. The vehicles permitted under each of these classes are similar to those permitted under the corresponding classified license. CDLs must be renewed every five years for a fee of $60.

A Class A CDL permits a person to drive any combination of vehicles weighing over 26,000 lbs, with the towed vehicle or vehicles weighing over 10,000 lbs. A Class B CDL permits a person to drive any single vehicle over 26,000 lbs and to tow a vehicle of no more than 10,000 lbs, and to operate a vehicle designed to transport at least 24 occupants, including the driver. A Class C CDL permits a person to drive any vehicle or combination of vehicles which do not require a Class A or Class B CDL that is designed to transport between 16 and 23 occupants or that is used to transport hazardous materials requiring placards as specified in 49 C.F.R., Part 172, Subpart F.


Certain commercial vehicles, which have special hazards associated with them, may only be operated by drivers with the appropriate CDL who have applied to have special endorsements added to their license. These endorsements include:

H: The driver may transport hazardous materials
N: The driver may transport a vehicle towing a tank
P: The driver may operate a vehicle carrying passengers
S: The driver may operate a school bus
T: The driver may transport two or three trailers over a specified weight
X: The driver may operate vehicles requiring both H and N endorsements

Exemptions Drivers do not need to obtain a CDL to operate any of the following vehicles: A farm vehicles that is controlled and operated by the farmer, used within 150 miles of the person’s farm, not used by a common or contract motor carrier, and used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies A fire-fighting or emergency vehicle whether operated by an official municipal employee or a volunteer firefighter A recreational vehicle (RV) used for personal reasons

A military vehicle or commercial vehicle used for military purposes by military personnel
A vehicle owned, leased, or controlled by an air carrier that is driven or operated by an employee of the air carrier on the premises of an airport or on non-public service roads
A vehicle used exclusively to transport seed cotton modules or cotton burrs

To find out more about obtaining a commercial drivers license, check out the Texas Commercial Motor Vehicle Handbook. This guide has all the information you need to know to become a commercial motor vehicle operator.

Drivers licenses are typically accepted as the standard form of identification around the country, and are often required to fly on planes, purchase alcohol, etc. Individuals who do not wish to drive may obtain an official state identification card (ID) at the drivers license office for a $15 fee. The ID will expire after six years. Once an individual turns 60, he or she will have to pay a $5 fee the next time that his or her ID needs to be renewed, and will not have to renew the ID again.

If you abuse your driving privilege, the DPS or the court system in the state of Texas may decide to take action against your license.

A suspension is a temporary withdrawal of a drivers license or the driving privilege for a specified period of time.
A revocation is a termination of a drivers license or the driving privilege for an indefinite period of time. The driving privilege may only be restored when all requirements associated with the revocation have been satisfied.
A cancellation is a withdrawal of a license or the driving privilege until the driver can requalify.
A denial is a withholding of a license or the driving privilege because the person is ineligible. The individual must meet the eligibility requirements before he or she can acquire a license.

The authority of DPS to suspend or revoke an individual’s drivers license extends to that person’s driving privilege regardless of whether or not they are actually licensed at the time of the violation. If a driver commits a violation while driving without a license, either because he or she has not obtained a license, is driving with an instruction permit, or has had his or her license suspended or revoked for a previous violation, the department will suspend or revoke his or her driving privilege. In this situation, the driver will not be able to apply for or restore his or her drivers license until the terms of the suspension or revocation have been met.

For certain offenses, the DPS will automatically suspend your license:

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) by alcohol or drugs
Intoxication manslaughter
Intoxication assault
Boating while intoxicated
Committing a serious drug offense
Failing to stop and render aid (hit-and-run)
Causing death or serious injury while operating a motor vehicle
Overtaking and passing a school bus
Evading arrest
Racing a motor vehicle on a public street
Vandalizing property with graffiti
Committing any offense punishable as a felony under Texas motor vehicle laws

A number of mandatory suspensions concern license fraud: Using an altered or unlawful drivers license Displaying or possessing a fictitious or altered license or ID Lending a license or ID to someone else Possessing more than one valid license or ID Providing false information or documentation when applying for a drivers license Making, selling, or possessing a fake license or ID Using a fictitious license plate, registration certificate, or safety inspection sticker Mandatory suspensions, revocations, and convictions for offenses involving fraudulent government records require a $100 reinstatement fee.

The DPS is authorized to suspend or revoke the license or driving privilege from any driver, after offering an opportunity for a proper hearing, for:

Driving with a suspended license
Causing a serious collision while driving a motor vehicle
Becoming incompetent to drive
Habitually driving recklessly or negligently
Fleeing or attempting to flee an officer
Repeated traffic law violations (4 or more convictions within a 12-month period, or 7 or more convictions with a 24-month period)

Failing to complete a required drug education program Failing to provide medical information when requested Failing to take or pass an exam when requested Failing to stop for a school bus (after a second offense) Failing to obey the terms of a probation order set during a previous hearing In addition, the DPS may suspend or revoke your Texas license for any offense committed in another state that would be grounds for suspension or revocation in Texas.

The DPS can cancel your drivers license or ID for:

Receiving a license suspension or revocation in another state
Having the authorization provided by your parent or guardian withdrawn (if you are under 18)
Failing to meet the qualifications for a drivers license or ID required by the state of Texas
Failing to have provided the required information truthfully on your license application
Failing to have completed your required drivers education course

The department may also cancel your license if you voluntarily surrender it for medical or insurance purposes.

Upon receiving an order from the court, the DPS can suspend, revoke, or cancel a drivers license for: Delinquent child support A failure to repay any overpayment of food stamps or financial assistance Mental incapacitation Chemical dependence A failure to annually renew one’s registration as a sex offender In addition, for drunk driving offenses, a license may be revoked until the driver installs a deep lung breath analysis mechanism, or Interlock Device in his or her ignition system. This device ensures that a driver cannot drive with an illegal BAC by requiring him or her to take a chemical breath test before the car will activate.

The DPS may refuse to issue or renew the drivers license of a person ineligible to receive a license in Texas because of:

A previous suspension, revocation, cancellation, or disqualification in Texas, another state, or a Canadian province
A physical or mental incapacity that prevents the safe operation of a motor vehicle
A conviction for acquiring fuel without payment (stealing gas)
A conviction for certain criminal mischief, such as graffiti
A conviction for purchasing alcohol for a minor or furnishing alcohol to a minor

In addition, the DPS may refuse to renew the license of a driver who fails to appear in court for traffic violations or other offenses within the jurisdiction of a justice or a municipal court.

The license of individuals under 21 years old may be automatically suspended for any of the following offenses: Alcoholic Beverage Code Violations The possession of alcohol The consumption of alcohol The purchase of alcohol or an attempt to purchase alcohol Driving under the influence of alcohol The failure to complete an alcohol awareness course The misrepresentation of his or her own age

Health and Safety Code Violations

A failure to complete a required tobacco awareness class
A drug offense
An offense under the Chapter 481 of the Health and Safety Code (The Texas Controlled Substances Act)

Family Code Violations
Delinquent conduct

Drivers who consistently demonstrate unsafe driving behaviors or who are guilty of certain significant offenses may face additional surcharges under Chapter 708 of the Texas Transportation Code, The Driver Responsibility Program (DRP). These surcharges are based on convictions that are recorded on a person’s driving record. The surcharges that a driver faces can be based on the number of moving violation points the driver has accumulated, or on specific amounts associated with particular offenses.

Point-based Penalties

For every moving violation a driver commits, a certain number of points will be added to the driver’s record by the DPS:

Two points will be assessed for a moving violation committed in Texas or another state
Three points will be assessed for a moving violation committed in Texas or another state that resulted in a crash

When a driver has accumulated six points, a surcharge of $100 will be assessed. For every additional point over six that a driver accumulates, the surcharge will be increased by $25. A driver’s record will be reviewed annually. If the driver has at least six points at that time, he or she will be required to pay the surcharge. The number of points on a driver’s record will increase every time he or she is convicted of a traffic offense. However, convictions are generally removed from a driver’s record after three years. In general, the driver will be required to pay the surcharge annually for the three years that the offense remains on his or her record. However, drivers may also choose to pay the entire three-year amount in advance.

Conviction-based Penalties

When a driver is convicted of certain offenses, he or she will have to pay an annual surcharge of a pre-set amount for at least three years. However, no points will be assessed for these crimes. These surcharges are assigned as follows:

DWI (first offense): $1,000
DWI (second or subsequent offense): $1,500
DWI with a BAC of 0.16 or more: $2,000
Driving without insurance: $250
Driving with an invalid license: $250
Driving with no license: $100

DRP Amnesty and Incentive Programs Under the Driver Responsibility Program, a driver may be able to have the surcharge that he or she is required to pay reduced by meeting certain requirements: Individuals who can provide proof of insurance following the assessment of a surcharge for driving without insurance can have the surcharge reduced to 75% of the original amount. Individuals who have been assessed a surcharge for driving without a valid license can have the surcharge reduced to 75% of the original amount by obtaining the kind of license they should have been driving with.

Individuals who receive a surcharge for intoxication, driving with an invalid license, or an accumulation of at least six points can have the surcharge reduced to 90% of the original amount after one year and to 80% of the original amount after two years. They must have a history of compliance and must commit no additional offenses following the original conviction or convictions.

You must not drive if you have not met the financial responsibility requirements specified by the Safety Responsibility Act, either by obtaining a liability insurance policy, or by some other means. Remember, every driver is required to have the following minimum amounts of coverage: $30,000 for the injury or death of a single person $60,000 for a single collision that causes the injury or death of more than one person $25,000 for property damages These amounts frequently prove insufficient to cover the damages caused in a collision. You will be personally responsible for paying any claims over the amounts provided by your policy.

If you’re not able to provide evidence of financial responsibility, you will be unable to continue driving. You must present evidence of financial responsibility when:

Applying for a drivers license
Registering a motor vehicle
Obtaining a motor vehicle inspection certificate
Renewing a license plate
Requested by a law enforcement officer or by another person involved in a collision with which you are involved

If you fail to show proof of financial responsibility when requested by a law enforcement officer, you may receive a citation. If you can show proof that a liability insurance policy was in effect when the citation was issued, the court will dismiss the charge. The first time you’re convicted of failing to provide proof of financial responsibility, you’ll be fined between $175 and $350. For a second offense, penalties will include a fine between $350 and $1,000, suspension of your license and vehicle registration, and impoundment of the vehicle driven at the time of the offense for 180 days. The car will not be released from impoundment until evidence of financial responsibility is provided.

For some people, the loss of a license will make it impossible for them to conduct their normal business or complete some other essential task. If the license of an individual is suspended for a reason other than physical or mental disability or impairment and he or she can demonstrate to the court an essential need to drive, he or she can apply for an Essential Needs License at the district or county court.
If this request is approved, the driver will be restricted to driving for essential purposes only and will be required to carry a certified copy of the court order when he or she drives. This document must be shown whenever a peace officer requests to examine it.

As we’ve discussed, to operate any motor vehicle in Texas (including a car, truck, motorcycle, motor scooter, or moped), you must register it and have it inspected at an official inspection station. You must renew your vehicle’s registration and have it reinspected annually. Find out more about vehicle registration here, and inspections here. Upon moving to Texas, a new resident must register his or her vehicle and have it inspected within 30 days of establishing residency. Before he or she can apply for a drivers license, a new resident must register and provide evidence of financial responsibility for every vehicle he or she owns.

During your vehicle inspection, its equipment will be tested to make sure that they are working properly and meet all applicable legal standards. When your vehicle passes its inspection, you will be issued an official certificate that must be placed on your windshield (or on the license plate of a moped or motorcycle). An inspection certificate remains valid for one year from the month of inspection.
You must be able to furnish proof of financial responsibility at the time of your inspection. If you do not, you will not be issued an inspection certificate.

The following equipment will be inspected: Windows All glass in your car must be safety glass. Any time you replace a piece of glass, you must replace it with safety glass. Sunscreening devices and window tinting must comply with the applicable state regulations. The windshield wipers must function properly to improve visibility in inclement weather.

Your car must have one inside rearview mirror as well as a mirror on the outside of the car on the driver’s side.
The mirrors must be positioned to reflect a view of the road for at least 200 ft to the rear of the vehicle.

The horn must be audible from a distance of at least 200 ft.

Brakes The foot brake must be able to stop the vehicle within 25 ft when the vehicle is travelling at 20 mph. The parking brake must be adequate for stopping and holding the vehicle. Fuel Cap There must be a cap on your fuel tank. It will be tested using pressurized testing equipment.


All tires must be in proper and safe condition and have a tread depth of at least 2/32nds of an inch.

Front seat belts
Seat belts are required in all vehicles in which they were part of the original equipment.

Exhaust and emission system Your car must have a muffler and exhaust system to help reduce noise and air pollution. License plates All cars must have one valid license plate at the front of the car and one in the rear.


Your car must have:

Two headlights, one on each side of the front of the car, and a beam indicator that lights up when the high beams are illuminated
Two electric turn signals in the front of the car and two in back that can be activated by the driver

Two red taillights, one on each side of the back of the car Two red brake lights, one on each side of the back of the car, that activate when the brake pedal is depressed Two red reflectors, one on each side of the back of the car, that are visible from 600 ft and placed at a height of 15" to 60" from the ground (these may be used in combination with taillights)

Two white or amber parking lights in the front of the car and two red parking lights in back that can be activated by the driver
A white license plate light that illuminates the rear license plate whenever any other lights are activated

While it’s also a good idea to have two white backup lights, one on each side of the back of the car, that activate when backing up, this equipment is classified as optional by the state of Texas.

Some vehicles, including government vehicles and antique and classic vehicles, may be exempt from some of these regulations. In addition to these requirements, slow-moving vehicles (such as tractors, construction machinery, animal-drawn vehicles, and other vehicles designed to travel at 25 mph or less) must display a slow-moving vehicle emblem (pictured).

There are additional lighting options that you may choose to install in your car but which are not required. If these lights are installed, they will be included in the inspection process:

A spotlight can be installed and used in the event the headlights fail, as long as the beam strikes the road no more than 50 ft in front of the vehicle and is always turned off when another vehicle is approaching.
An amber or white light can be installed on the fender or cowl on each side of the car.
An amber or white light can be installed on the running board on each side of the car.

Flashing lights can be installed around a vehicle to be used for warning other traffic of hazards in the road. Flashing lights must be amber or white in the front of the car and amber or red in the back of the car. All flashing lights must flash simultaneously. Up to three additional lights can be mounted on the front of the car. These lights must be between 12" and 42" above the surface of the road.

Some optional equipment that can be installed in your car is considered unsafe and is prohibited by the state of Texas:

A red light or flashing red lights that show from the front of the vehicle, unless it is an emergency vehicle
A bell, siren, or exhaust whistle, unless the vehicle is an emergency vehicle
A radar interference device designed to disrupt a radar or laser reading of the vehicle’s speed
Anything that extends more than three inches beyond the left side or six inches beyond the right side of the body, running boards, or fenders of a vehicle
A muffler cutout

You must not modify or weight your vehicle in a way that causes the bottom of the body to sit below the lowest part of the wheel rims.

Being able to drive can improve your life in countless ways, but only if you recognize its built-in risks and adopt an appropriate attitude towards driving. If you act carelessly or recklessly behind the wheel, you may find that becoming a driver was the worst thing that ever happened to you. The first step is completing your drivers education requirement. Once you’ve obtained your license, you will have demonstrated that you have the basic skills and willingness necessary to be a safe and responsible driver. By mastering the lessons of drivers education now, you’ll have a solid foundation on which to build a lifetime of driving experiences.

To complete your drivers education requirement, you must demonstrate that you have acquired the understanding and skills necessary to obtain a drivers license and begin the life-long process of learning to reduce risk on the road.
When you have mastered the lessons you’ve learned in drivers education, you’ll be able to:

Accept driving as a privilege with responsibilities, obligations, and potential consequences and apply knowledge and understanding of Texas traffic laws, including traffic control devices and right-of-way laws

Employ pre-drive tasks, utilize and require passengers to utilize occupant protection and restraint systems, utilize vehicle symbols and devices, employ starting tasks, perform vehicle operation and control tasks, employ post-drive tasks, utilize baseline and progress assessment tools to evaluate your behind-the-wheel skill level, and formulate a driving plan Sustain visual attention and communication, utilize reference points, manage vehicle balance, and execute vehicle maneuvers Employ legal and responsible driving practices to limit and manage fatigue and aggressive driving Predict, analyze, and minimize risk factors and employ a space management system Identify and analyze driving environments and minimizing environmental risks

Limit and manage driver distractions and required multitask performances
Adopt zero-tolerance practices related to the use of alcohol and other drugs by recognizing and understanding the laws, regulations, penalties concerning alcohol and other drugs, as well as of the consequences of alcohol and drug use on your lifestyle, your driving, and your license
Manage adverse conditions resulting from weather, reduced visibility, traction loss, and emergencies
Assess and manage vehicle malfunctions, perform preventative maintenance, and plan trips
Attend to vehicle requirements by making wise consumer decisions regarding vehicle use and ownership, vehicle insurance, environmental protection and letter prevention, and anatomical gifts

Remember, when you first get behind the wheel as a licensed driver, you will have demonstrated only the minimal level of skills necessary to share the road with other road users. Only with experience will you develop the driving ability necessary to be considered an excellent driver. As you gain experience, you will learn more not only about controlling your car and recognizing dangerous situations on the road—you will also come to have a better understanding of your own attitudes, anxieties, and abilities.

Keep in mind that because your driving privilege can be suspended or revoked if you commit a traffic violation or cause a collision, driving carelessly or recklessly now will only delay the process of gaining experience.
If you can’t drive for six months to a year, your reflexes will get rusty and you’re likely to forget important lessons—especially if you haven’t been driving for very long. By the time you finally get back on the road, your driving skills may be significantly diminished, even though you’ll have aged and matured in other ways.

The consequences of a single suspension can affect your driving for years. Due to the lapse in driving experience, you’ll be more likely to commit more violations and face more—and longer—suspensions in the future. Eventually, while driving may become second nature to your friends, you may find yourself struggling to keep up! Remember, even without experience, you can significantly reduce the risks you face as a driver by applying the lessons you’ve learned in drivers ed. By driving carefully now, you won’t have to worry about being left in the dust.

While you’re particularly at risk while you’re still a novice driver, make sure you don’t become overconfident in your own driving skills as you gain experience. If you go several years without causing a collision or committing a traffic violation, you may become less conscientious in your approach to driving and stop attending as vigilantly to situations on the road.
Remember, a collision could happen at any time! As long as you remain a driver, it’s your responsibility to pay attention to how you’re driving and make sure you don’t develop any unsafe driving habits.

When you make a mistake while driving, you can affect not only yourself, but also your friends, your family, and everyone else on the road. By accepting the social responsibilities associated with driving, you can improve your own quality of life, make other road users (especially vulnerable road users) feel safer, and avoid adding additional strain on law enforcement, medical services, and the economy at large.

Never forget that every action has consequences. What you decide to do today will inevitably have an impact on what you’re able to do tomorrow.
If you plan on driving for a long time, it’s your responsibility to develop strategies that will help you remain licensed, develop your driving skills over time, maintain the condition of your car, and stay alive long enough to enjoy the driving experience that you gain.

The ability to drive is a terrific privilege. It’s easy to forget how much work it takes to plan, build, and maintain roadways, create and enforce traffic laws and regulations, design, manufacture, sell, and repair vehicles, and perform peripheral services like providing insurance or teaching drivers education. When you drive courteously, you show respect for the work these people do to make sure everyone can use the HTS with confidence

A safe and efficient Highway Transportation System is an important part of the economy of the United States.
Not only does the HTS make it possible to sell produce grown on the other side of the country and to construct sophisticated machines out of parts manufactured in distant regions, but it is directly responsible for thousands of jobs in Texas and around the country.

Job opportunities created by the HTS include: Vehicle manufacturers and professional mechanics and technicians Vehicle engineers, including systems engineers, communications engineers, and computer programmers Professional drivers, including commercial truck drivers, bus drivers, taxi drivers, and delivery workers Road construction and maintenance workers

Public workers and law enforcement agents with the Department of Public Safety, the Court system, and local police and sheriff departments
Workers dealing with the environmental consequences of driving, including hazardous waste disposal workers and chemists improving fuel and vehicle fluid quality

Treat the HTS and the people who make it possible with respect. After all, with the number of opportunities the HTS provides, there’s a good chance that one day one of these workers will be you!

For more information, visit the websites of the various agencies responsible for the HTS in Texas: The Department of Transportation is the main agency tasked with providing a safe, efficient highway system. The Department of Public Safety is responsible for issuing, renewing, and suspending drivers licenses. The Department of Motor Vehicles is in charge of vehicle registration. The Department of Licensing and Regulation establishes guidelines for drivers education

The Texas Legislature passes the laws that govern the HTS.
The Criminal Justice Division oversees law enforcement and crime prevention strategies.
The Judicial System enforces traffic laws and assigns punishments to violators.
The Alcoholic Beverage Commission regulates alcohol consumption and zero tolerance policies.
The Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division provides support for people with alcohol and drug abuse problems

By now, you should have established a comprehensive driving plan incorporating the various lessons you have learned in this course. As you prepare to for your in-car driver training, review the skills that you’ll need when you operate a vehicle. You must be able to: Perform pre-drive tasks, including pre-start and pre-drive maintenance procedures performed prior to an after entering the vehicle Utilize occupant protection and correct posture, seating, steering wheel, and hand positions Locate, identify, and respond appropriately to dashboard alert and warning indicators Perform starting tasks including activating the ignition, running the engine, and shifting gears Describe vehicle operating space

Perform vehicle operation and control tasks at various speeds to accelerate, decelerate, and steer, move forward and back, turn left and right, perform lateral and turnabout maneuvers, stop, and park
Perform blind spot and mirror checks
Perform multitask performances using countermeasures to compensate for divided attention
Communicate and sustain visual attention while executing maneuvers
Utilize a space management system
Perform post-drive tasks including stopping, engine shut-down, post-drive maintenance, and exiting and securing the vehicle

In addition, you must be prepared to adopt a mental disposition appropriate for driving whenever you get behind the wheel: Be courteous to other road users by communicating properly, yielding the right-of-way, and helping other drivers when they seem agitated or distracted Recognize the particular risks associated with different kinds of road users and road and weather conditions and adjust your driving appropriately Make sure you’re fit enough to operate a vehicle by staying off the road if you’re too sick, tired, or emotional to drive safely Stay focused on the driving task by keeping your eyes moving across the roadway and avoiding activities likely to distract you Never get in the driver’s seat when your mental and physical skills are impaired by alcohol, drugs, or anything else

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