State Troopers are fighting against distracted driving. Thursday, they announced the new “Impact Texas Young Drivers” course. It is a 1-hour course to educate new drivers on the dangers of distracted driving. Starting this September, the course will be required for drivers 18 and older in order to get your license.

Impact Texas Young Drivers (ITYD), part of the Impact Texas Driver (ITD) program, was developed by the Department of Public Safety with the goal of saving lives through awareness and education. ITYD is a 3-part video that explains, with factual evidence, the dangers of distracted driving along with real life stories of people that have lost their life from distracted driving as well as those who were seriously injured, having their lives completely changed. Our theme throughout the video is: “It is not about bad people doing bad things, but about good people making poor choices.” These poor choices center around cell phone use as well as attempting to multitask in the vehicle instead of focusing on driving.

This program is modeled after an initiative developed by the California non-profit Impact Teen Drivers. By using state-specific statistics, videos and materials this program is designed to engage young adult drivers in defining what distracted driving is, who’s affected by distracted driving, and to help emphasize the problem of reckless and distracted driving.

All skills examination applicants, ages 18-24, who completed a driver education program must complete the applicable ITD program and obtain proof of completion prior to taking the driving skills examination. The ITD program shall be viewed after completion of the 6 hour adult course or behind the wheel driver education requirements and prior to taking the skills examination.

For more information, visit the Texas Department of Public Safety Impact Texas Young Drivers (ITYD) webpage here.