Teens who are learners permit age must first satisfy a couple of required programs. These specifically targeted courses raise teen driver awareness. They instill the very real dangers of careless driving and teach new drivers about the major responsibilities of driving privileges.
Only after meeting the requirements of these pre-license courses and passing the tests, can a teen driver earn those highly prized learning to drive privileges. The basic principle that privileges also carry responsibilities is one that can be carried over into life in practically every area.
In addition to a Driver’s Handbook that must be studied and mastered prior to the knowledge part of the actual driver’s license exam, these programs further prepare the student before they become licensed drivers.
The Graduated Driver License (GDL) is one such program of study, and it is for aspiring drivers under 18 years old. Begun in January of 2002, it is designed to build driver experience in diminished risk situations.
First, the new driver must hold a learner’s permit for six months before getting a provisional driver’s license. Should the learner’s permit get suspended during that six-month requirement, the time requirement is extended for the length of time equal to the length of the suspension.
Once the six month period has passed, and the student has reached age 16, the other required parts get checked off. Has the student finished the classroom and driving parts of the actual driver’s education course?
Did the student take and pass the Impact Texas Drivers requirement, (more about that in the next section)?
At phase two, they are then eligible to take the actual driving test for their provisional permit.
Potential drivers who come here, and are at least 16 years old, already have a valid learner’s permit, along with proof of having already completed a teen driver education course, can take the provisional license test after watching the Impact Texas Drivers video and passing a driving test, the provisional license gets issued.
This provisional license has certain restrictions. Both the number of passengers under age 21 and not a member of the family and the permitted hours to drive are limited. Between midnight and 5 a.m., provisional license holders are prohibited from driving unless there is a medical emergency or for school-related activities.
So, the two phases of the GDL (Graduated Drivers License) program are the Phase I Learner License and the Phase ii Provisional License leading up to the actual driver’s license.
The Second Requirement
To apply for a driver’s license, they also must take and complete one of the series of preparatory programs which make up the Impact Texas Drivers (ITD). These are separated and available according to age groups.
ITTD (Impact Texas Teen Drivers) is for students 15-17 years old who have taken and passed a teen driver education course or a parent directed driver education course.
Students 18 to 24 years old who have taken and passed a teen driving course are also eligible. The ITTD course is a course that teaches distracted driver dangers in a roughly 2-hour video.
(Impact Texas Youth Drivers) is for students 18-24 years of age. It is a 1-hour course that takes the lessons of distracted driving to a more personal level. It features stories about people whose lives have been directly impacted and changed by distracted drivers.
It is also available to drivers who are 25 years old and even older. Because of the lasting impact, students are highly encouraged to take it. It raises the awareness level about distracted driving substantially.
Upon completion of the ITYD program, students have 90 days to take and pass the driving exam. If a student does not pass, he must repeat the program and re-take the driver test.
Texans should be pleased with how rigorous our teen driver education program is, and what it requires of young, new drivers. It is not a process of quickly studying a driver’s manual, taking a written test, followed by a test drive anymore. With this driver’s education program, students actually are forced to seriously think about just what driving involves from the driver’s perspective.