Need a Texas driver's license? You'll have to take a distracted driving course

Distracted driving
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Not knowing about the dangers of texting and driving won’t be an option for young drivers in Texas beginning Sept. 1.

Starting next month, anyone 18 and over who wants to get a driver’s license in the state will be required to take the “Impact Texas Young Drivers” course, the Department of Public Safety said in a news release Thursday.

It’s the second course in the “Impact Texas Driver” program, developed in 2015 by the DPS with the aim of saving people through education about distracted driving. The first course, “Impact Texas Teen Drivers,” is a two-hour video that went into effect two years ago for drivers ages 15 to 17.

The new and free one-hour course affects drivers 18 to 24 and older, who are also required to complete a six-hour adult driver education course before obtaining a driver’s license. It doesn’t apply to those who already have a license.

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Neither course replaces the distracted driving module taught in the 32-hour teen driver education class or the six hours of adult driver education. Both courses can be accessed at the Impact Texas Drivers website.

“Driving is one of the most dangerous things we do on a daily basis, and it should command our undivided attention,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said in the news release. “This new component of the department’s distracted driving initiative uses research and compelling true stories to highlight the many risks facing drivers.”

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