TX_DriverManual
INTERESTED IN AN EXCITING CAREER
AS A STATE TROOPER?
To find out if you qualify to be one of the very special people associated with DPS, contact the
nearest Texas Department of Public Safety Office for details or visit our website at
www.txdps.state.tx.us.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is an
equal opportunity employer.
TEXAS
DRIVERS
HANDBOOK
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
Revised October 2008
Glenda Dawson Donate Life - Texas Registry
Texans can register to be organ, tissue and eye donors
online by visiting www.DonateLifeTexas.org or when
renewing their Driver License or ID card.
REPORT SMOKING VEHICLES
To report a smoking vehicle, visit:
www.smokingvehicle.org
or call toll free
1-800-453-SMOG (7664)
Website:
www.txdps.state.tx.us
INTRODUCTION
This handbook has two main purposes: (1) to help you qualify for a Texas Driver
License and (2) to help you become a safer driver. The information herein is not
intended to be an official legal reference to Texas traffic laws. It is intended only
to explain in everyday language those laws and driving practices and procedures
which you need most often when driving in Texas. If you have a court case or
other reason to know the actual language of the traffic laws, refer to the Texas
Transportation Code and criminal laws in the Texas Penal Code. If you are applying for a Commercial Driver License (CDL) you must study the Commercial Driver
License Handbook. The Commercial Driver License Handbook is a different
handbook than the one you are now reading.
Persons interested in driving motorcycles and mopeds should obtain and study
the Motorcycle Handbook. All handbooks are distributed by your local Driver
License Office(s) or can be viewed on the DPS website in PDF format.
Don’t throw this handbook away after you pass your tests. Study it for reference
and keep up-to-date. To keep up-to-date with all law changes, get a new copy
every two years after the Texas Legislature has met.
Questions or comments concerning this book should be sent to:
DRIVER LICENSE DIVISION
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
P. O. Box 4087
AUSTIN, TX 78773-0300
If you have any other questions or need additional information contact your local
Drivers License Office or visit our website at www.txdps.state.tx.us. Refer to
Appendix C of this book to locate a Drivers License Office in your area of Texas.
The Texas Department of Public Safety does not discriminate because of race,
color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability.
ADA Accommodation
Persons needing accommodation under the provisions of the Americans With
Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact personnel on duty at their local Driver
License Office. The DPS strives to accommodate all citizens who come to our
facilities for any purpose. Persons in need of assistance who fail to receive
accommodation may have grounds for a grievance. DPS Grievance
Procedures may be found in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 37 §1.41 or
at the DPS website www.txdps.state.tx.us.
CUSTOMER SERVICE
(512) 424-2600
Dear Fellow Texan:
Traffic safety is the primary responsibility of all highway users.
Texans have traditionally accepted this responsibility by practicing
safe and courteous driving behavior.
The Texas highway system is one of the most extensive highway
systems in the nation where Texas drivers log over 187 billion travel
miles annually. For several years, traffic fatalities were on the
decline. However, in recent years traffic fatalities have been on the
increase. Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Speeding are two
primary contributors to this increase. The use of safety belts by all
drivers is extremely important in helping to reduce fatalities and
injuries.
The responsibility for traffic safety begins with the individual driver.
Make a personal commitment to traffic safety by carefully studying
this handbook and striving to develop safe driving habits.
Texas Department of Public Safety
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Your License To Drive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1-1
Vehicle Inspection and Registration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2-1
Safety (Financial) Responsibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-1
Right-of-Way . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4-1
Signals, Signs, and Markers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5-1
Signaling, Passing, and Turning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-1
Stopping, Standing, or Parking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7-1
Speed and Speed Limits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-1
Some Special Driving Situations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9-1
How Alcohol and Drugs Affect a Person’s Ability to Drive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10-1
Driving While Intoxicated-Driving under the Influence
of Drugs – Penalties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10-2
Zero Tolerance Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10-4
Motor Vehicle Crashes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11-1
Pedestrian Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12-1
Bicycle Vehicle Law and Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13-1
Additional Safety Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-1
Sharing the Roads with Motorcycles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14-7
Special Requirements for Commercial Motor Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15-1
Safety Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15-32
Registration of Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15-36
Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A-1
Study and Review Questions for Class C Operators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B-1
Study and Review Questions for Class A and Class B Operators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B-6
Full-Time Driver License Offices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .C-1
CHAPTER 1
YOUR LICENSE TO DRIVE
WHO MAY OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE IN TEXAS
1. Residents who have a valid Texas driver license.
2. The driver of an official motor vehicle in the service of the United States
or state military service—without a valid Texas driver license, unless the
vehicle is a Commercial Motor Vehicle as defined in Section 522.003(5),
Texas Commercial Driver License Act (Texas Transportation Code). See
pages 1-5 through 1-7 for a further explanation.
3. Any person while driving or operating any road machine, farm tractor, or
implement of husbandry temporarily operated or moved on a highway is
exempt from licensure, unless the vehicle is a Commercial Motor Vehicle as
defined in Section 522.003(5), Texas Commercial Driver License Act (Texas
Transportation Code). See pages 1-5 through 1-7 for a further explanation.
4. A nonresident (at least 16 years of age) who has in his possession a
valid driver license issued to him in his home state may operate a vehicle
which is permitted to be operated with a Class C or Class M driver license in
Texas.
5. Nonresidents (at least 18 years of age) may drive any vehicle in Texas if
they are legally licensed to drive such a vehicle in their home state or country, and their home state or country grants like recognition to citizens of
Texas.
6. The validity of any Texas driver license held by any person who enters
or is in the United States Armed Forces shall continue in full force and effect
so long as the service continues and the person remains absent from this
State, and not to exceed 90 days following the day on which the licensee is
honorably separated from the service or returns to this state, unless the
license is sooner suspended, cancelled, or revoked.
7. A nonresident on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States
who has a valid license issued by his home state and such nonresident’s
spouse or dependent son or daughter who has a valid license issued by such
person’s home state.
8. Any person on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States who
has in his possession a valid license issued in a foreign country by the Armed
Forces may operate a motor vehicle in this state for a period of time not to
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exceed 90 days from the date of his return to the United States.
9. New residents who are properly licensed have 30 days after entry into
the state to secure a Texas driver license.
THE TYPES OF TEXAS DRIVER LICENSES
INSTRUCTION PERMIT:
This is a permit issued without a photograph for the purpose of permitting a
student driver to legally practice when accompanied by a licensed driver
who is at least 21 years of age and has had at least one year driving experience who is occupying the seat beside the driver, is not intoxicated, asleep
or engaging in any activity that prevents them from observing and responding
to actions of the driver.
Minimum Age: 15 with driver education.
Fee: $5.00
Expiration: Issued until the applicant’s next birth date, plus one year. Not
renewable as an instruction permit but must be renewed as a photo-type
license at regular fees upon expiration or at the time the driving test is
passed and the restrictions are removed.
SPECIAL NOTE: A person may not receive a Texas driver license until
he surrenders to the Department all valid driver licenses in his possession issued to him by this or any other state.
SPECIAL NOTE: If you are under 18 years of age you must prove when
you apply for your first Texas driver license or instruction permit and
again each time your license is renewed until your 18th birthday that
you:
1) Have obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent; or
2) Are a student enrolled in a public or private school who attended school for at least 80 days in the fall or spring semester preceding the date of application; or
3) Have been enrolled for at least 45 days, and are currently
enrolled in a program to prepare persons to pass the high school
equivalency exam.
The Texas Education Agency has developed an attendance certification form
that you must obtain from your respective school. Have the school officials
complete and sign it, and then present it to the Driver License personnel
when you are applying for or renewing your driver license.
GRADUATED DRIVER LICENSE: The Texas Graduated Driver License (GDL)
Program was implemented January 1, 2002.
Phase One: Applicants under age 18 must hold an instruction permit or
hardship license for a minimum of six months prior to issuance of a provisional Class A, B, or C driver license. Under the GDL program, there is
no minimum time that a person must hold a restricted motorcycle or
moped license before they can apply for a Class M license. Phase one
does not apply to Class M or hardship license holders. The instruction
permit must remain valid during the mandatory six-month period to meet
this regulation.
Phase Two: Phase Two restricts the driving privileges of persons under
18 years of age during the six-month period following the issuance of an
original Class A, B, or C driver license (Provisional License). These persons may not operate a motor vehicle with more than one passenger in
the vehicle under the age of 21 who is not a family member. In addition,
they may not operate a motor vehicle between midnight and 5:00 a.m.
unless the operation of the vehicle is necessary for the operator to attend
or participate in employment or a school-related activity or because of a
medical emergency. The license restriction will state, “TRC 545.424
applies until mm/dd/yy”.
Applicants 15 years of age presenting an out-of-state instruction permit
will be issued a Texas instruction permit which must be held for six
months from the date of issuance before becoming eligible for Phase
Two.
Applicants at least 16 years of age and less than 18 years old who present a valid out-of-state instruction permit or out-of-state driver license will
be issued a Phase Two provisional GDL with passenger and time restrictions for the first six months of operation of a motor vehicle in Texas.
PROVISIONAL LICENSE:
You are also required to present the documentation anytime the
license is renewed prior to the 18th birthday. During the school year
the certificate issued by the school may not be dated more than 30
days before the date of application. During the summer the certificate
may not be dated more than 90 days before the date of application.
All original licenses, other than an Instruction Permit, issued to persons
under 18 years of age will be marked “PROVISIONAL.” The license will
expire on the applicant’s next birth date occurring after the date of issuance.
A minimum fee of $5.00 is required. The renewal fee is $5.00 for each oneyear renewal period. Non-commercial driver licenses issued to persons age
18 or over will be valid for six years and cost $24.00.
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1-3
SPECIAL NOTE: Licensees under 21 years old will have “Under 21” print-
ed on their license.
CLASSIFIED DRIVER LICENSE (Texas Transportation Code, Section 521)
The following listed Class A, B, C, and M licenses will be issued to persons
who are exempt from obtaining a Commercial Driver License or persons who
are not required to obtain a Commercial Driver License:
1. Class A driver license permits a person to drive any vehicle or combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or
more, provided the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle(s) being towed
is in excess of 10,000 pounds; including a vehicle included in Class B or
Class C, except a motorcycle or moped.
Minimum Ages: 18, or 17 with completion of an approved driver education
course including classroom and practical training or approval of minor’s
hardship application.
Fee: $24.00 for 6 years. Applicants under the age of 18 are charged $5.00
for a license to expire on the next birthday.
2. Class B driver license permits a person to drive the following vehicles,
except a motorcycle or moped:
a. a single unit vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001
pounds or more, and any such vehicle towing either a vehicle with a
gross vehicle weight rating that does not exceed 10,000 pounds, or a
farm trailer with a gross vehicle weight rating that does not exceed
20,000 pounds;
b. a bus with a seating capacity of 24 passengers or more, including the
driver; and
c. a vehicle included in Class C.
Minimum Ages: 18, or 17 with completion of an approved driver education
course including classroom and practical training or approval of a minor’s
hardship application.
Fee: $24.00 for 6 years. Applicants under the age of 18 are charged $5.00
for a license to expire on the next birthday.
3. Class C driver license permits a person to drive the following vehicles,
except a motorcycle or moped:
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a. a single unit vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that is not a Class A
or B; and
b. a single unit vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than
26,001 pounds, towing a trailer not to exceed 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating or a farm trailer with a gross vehicle weight rating that
does not exceed 20,000 pounds.
Minimum Ages: 18, or 16 with completion of an approved course of driver
education including classroom and practical training, or 15 with approval of
minor’s hardship application.
Fee: $24.00 for 6 years. Applicants under the age of 18 are charged $5.00
for a license to expire on the next birthday.
4. Class M driver license permits a person to drive a motorcycle or moped.
Minimum Ages:
a. Motorcycle—18, or 16 with completion of an approved course of driver education (32 hours classroom and the 16-hour Departmentapproved Basic Motorcycle Operator Training Course)
b. Moped—15 years of age
Motor-driven cycle of 250cc or less
a. 15 with Department approval for minor’s hardship license
b. 15 with completion of an approved course of driver education (32
hours classroom and the 16-hour Department-approved Basic
Motorcycle Operator Training Course)
Fee: $24.00 for 6 years. Applicants under the age of 18 are charged $5.00
for a license to expire on the next birthday. A motorcycle endorsement added
to a current license requires a $15.00 examination fee. An additional fee of
$8.00 will be required when renewing a Class M license.
SPECIAL NOTE: All applicants who apply for an original or renewal of their
driver license or identification card may elect to pay an additional voluntary contribution of $1.00 to either one or both of the following programs:
The Blindness Education, Screening, and Treatment Program which is
administered by the Texas Commission for the Blind, and allows screening and treatment of individuals who are without adequate medical coverage. The Glenda Dawson Donate Life - Texas registry is responsible for
managing the donor registry and state-funded donor education projects.
Texans can also register to be organ, tissue, and eye donors online by
visiting www.DonateLifeTexas.org.
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COMMERCIAL DRIVER LICENSE (CDL) - (Transportation Code, Chapter
522)
See SPECIAL NOTE on page 1-7.
The holder of a valid Commercial Driver License may drive all vehicles in the
class for which that license is issued, and all lesser classes of vehicles
except motorcycles and mopeds. Vehicles that require an endorsement may
not be driven unless the proper endorsement appears on the license.
Authorization to operate motorcycles must be shown on the Commercial
Driver License.
1. Class A Commercial Driver License permits a person to drive any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds
or more, provided the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle or vehicles
being towed exceeds 10,000 pounds.
Minimum Ages: 21 (interstate commerce driving) or 18 (intrastate driving).
Fee: $60.00 for 5 years
2. Class B Commercial Driver License permits a person to drive any single
unit vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, any
one of those vehicles towing a vehicle that does not exceed 10,000 pounds
gross vehicle weight rating, and any vehicle designed to transport 24 passengers or more, including the driver.
Minimum Ages: 21 (interstate commerce driving) or 18 (intrastate driving).
Fee: $60.00 for 5 years
3. Class C Commercial Driver License permits a person to drive any single
vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that is not a Class A or B if either vehicle
is:
a. designed to transport 16 to 23 passengers, including the driver; or
b. used in the transportation of hazardous materials that require the
vehicle to be placarded under 49 C.F.R., Part 172, Subpart F.
Minimum Ages: 21 (interstate commerce driving) or 18 (intrastate driving).
Fee: $60.00 for 5 years
CDL ENDORSEMENTS: The Department may issue Commercial Driver
Licenses with the following endorsements:
H—Authorizes the transportation of hazardous materials;
N—Authorizes the operation of a vehicle with a tank;
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P—Authorizes the operation of a vehicle carrying passengers;
S—Authorizes the operation of a school bus;
T—Authorizes the towing of two or three trailers over a specified weight;
X–Authorizes operation of a combination of H and N
SPECIAL NOTE: On or after April 1, 1992, a person may not drive a com-
mercial motor vehicle unless the person has in his immediate possession
a valid Commercial Driver License (CDL) appropriate for the class of vehicle being driven.
Exemptions: Persons operating the following vehicles are exempt from a
Commercial Driver License (CDL):
1. A vehicle that is:
a. controlled and operated by a farmer;
b. used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies to or from a farm;
c. not used in the operations of a common or contract motor carrier; and
d. used within 150 miles of the person’s farm.
2. A fire-fighting or emergency vehicle necessary to the preservation of life
or property or the execution of emergency governmental functions, whether
operated by an employee of a political subdivision or by a volunteer fire fighter;
3. A military vehicle or a commercial motor vehicle when operated for military purposes by military personnel, members of the Reserves and National
Guard on active duty, including personnel on full-time National Guard duty,
personnel on part-time training, and National Guard military technicians;
4. A recreational vehicle that is driven for personal use;
5. A vehicle that is owned, leased, or controlled by an air carrier, as defined
by Section 21.155 of the Transportation Code, and that is driven or operated
exclusively by an employee of the air carrier only on the premises of an airport, as defined by Section 22.001 of the Transportation Code, on service
roads to which the public does not have access; or
6. A vehicle used exclusively to transport seed cotton modules or cotton
burrs.
Farm-Related Service Industry (FRSI) Waiver: The Department may waive
the Commercial Driver License (CDL) knowledge and skill tests required by
Section 522.022 of the Transportation Code, and provide for the issuance of
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a restricted CDL to an employee of a farm-related service industry. Seasonal
drivers of the following FRSI are authorized by federal regulation to obtain
the FRSI waiver and be issued a restricted CDL: (1) Farm retail outlets and
suppliers; (2) agri-chemical businesses; (3) custom harvesters includes cotton modular operators; and (4) livestock feeders. FRSI CDL’s shall be issued
for Class B and Class C vehicles only (Class A vehicles are not included in
the waiver). Texas regulations require that persons who apply for a FRSI
CDL pass a 20 question examination over Class A-B rules and a Class B
non-CDL skills test.
Persons who drive commercial motor vehicles as defined on pages 1-6 and
1-7 must obtain the appropriate Commercial Driver License (CDL) by meeting all of the requirements and testing required or by certifying that they fall
within one of the exemptions to meet license requirements of Chapter 521 of
the Transportation Code (Class A, B, C, M - non-CDL). (See CLASSIFIED
DRIVER LICENSE - Transportation Code, Chapter 521.)
If you need further information or if you are required to obtain a Commercial
Driver License, please ask for a copy of the Texas Commercial Motor Vehicle
Drivers Handbook at your local Driver License office. This handbook has all
the necessary information that you must know in preparing to take the knowledge and skills tests for a Commercial Driver License.
SPECIAL NOTE: Veterans who receive at least 60 percent service con-
nected disability compensation are exempt from paying any fees for a
driver license (exemption does not apply to Commercial Driver License
applicants, applicants who are required to register as a sex offender or to
Identification Card applicants), but the applicant must meet all other
licensing requirements. Forms for certification of disability from the
Veteran’s Administration are available at Driver License offices.
IDENTIFICATION CARD:
The Department is authorized to issue a personal identification card with a
photograph for those individuals who find it desirable. Identification cards
bear a distinguishing number similar to a driver license and are maintained
in the driver records file. Applicants must provide documents to meet ID
policy. (visit our website at www.txdps.state.tx.us for a current list of
acceptable documents)
SPECIAL NOTE: Identification cards issued to anyone under 21 years of
age will have “Under 21” printed on the card. ID cards will display in a vertical format.
Fee: $15.00, except for persons age 60 or older the fee is $5.00
Expiration: On birth date six years from year issued, except that identification
cards issued to a person age 60 or older do not expire.
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ALLERGIC REACTION TO DRUG:
All driver licenses will provide a space for the licensee to indicate any drug
allergy a person may have.
* ANATOMICAL GIFTS:
The Department of Public Safety offers the “Live and Then Give” pamphlets
to any person who visits a Driver License office. The pamphlet has one
detachable card that can be completed and carried by the individual as evidence of their intentions to be an eye, tissue, or organ donor. A small sticker
stating “DONOR” is also included, and may be placed on the front of the driver license or identification card to indicate the individual’s desire to be an
organ donor. Licenses and identification cards that were issued prior to
September 1, 1997 which indicate a person’s wish to be a donor shall be
conclusive evidence of a decedent’s status as a donor and serve as consent
for organ, tissue, and eye removal.
* MEDICAL AND EMERGENCY INFORMATION:
On the reverse side of the driver license, state law requires the Department
to print the statement “Directive to physician has been filed at telephone #”
and “Emergency contact telephone #”. The Department shall provide a surface on which the license holder may write an appropriate telephone number
and a box to the left of the statement to indicate for what purpose the telephone number applies.
**State law also requires the Department to provide space on the
reverse side of the Driver License to allow individuals to voluntarily list
health conditions which may impede communication with a peace officer.
HOW TO OBTAIN YOUR TEXAS DRIVER LICENSE
SPECIAL NOTE: If you are required to obtain a Commercial Driver License
(CDL), comply with the following listed procedures plus there are several
additional application forms you must complete. If you are not required to
obtain a CDL, then only the following requirements must be met.
1. APPLICATION—You can obtain the application form and fill it out at your
nearest Driver License office. You can find the office nearest you by looking
in the directory in the back of this handbook or visit our website at
www.txdps.state.tx.us. Your application must be made in person.
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a. You will furnish
1) your full name,
2) identification documents (visit our website at txdps.state.tx.us for a
current list of acceptable documents),
3) physical description,
4) Social Security card or other acceptable proof of Social Security
number,
SPECIAL NOTE: All applicants for a Texas driver license are required by
state laws (Section 521.044, 521.142, 522.021 of the Transportation
Code; and Section 231.302 of the Family Code) to present evidence
(Social Security card or other acceptable documentation) of the person’s
social security number. The purpose of requiring a person to provide
proof of their social security number is to assist the Department in determining the proper identity of each license holder. Federal issued Social
Security card, health card, pilot’s license, military identification (active and
reserve duty personnel only, not acceptable for dependents), peace officer’s license, DD-214, Medicare-Medicaid card, certified college/university transcript, Veteran’s Administration card.
5) thumbprints (Texas Transportation Code, Section 521.142(b)(1),
6) residence address and mailing address,
7) provide answers to medical status and history questions listed on
application form. Persons with certain medical limitations may have
their cases reviewed by the Texas Medical Advisory Board for Driver
Licensing before the license may be issued,
8) surrender of valid out-of-state driver licenses,
9) current county of residence and U.S. citizenship status.
b. A complete record of your examination will be recorded on your application and forwarded to the Department headquarters where it becomes
a part of your permanent driving record. Any convictions for moving traffic violations or crashes which occur will be recorded on this permanent
record. This includes out-of-state records of convictions.
c. An application for an original driver license must be accompanied by
evidence of financial responsibility or a statement that the applicant does
not own a motor vehicle for which maintenance of financial responsibility is required under the Texas Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act.
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Evidence of financial responsibility presented must be in at least the
minimum amount required by the Act, and must cover each motor vehicle that the applicant owns and for which the applicant is required to
maintain financial responsibility.
d. A new Texas resident must submit with the application evidence (registration receipt issued by the county tax assessor-collector of the county in which the new resident resides is satisfactory evidence that a motor
vehicle has been registered in Texas) that each motor vehicle owned by
the person is currently registered in Texas or indicate they do not own a
motor vehicle that is required to be registered.
e. All original applicants (first time applying for a license) for a Texas driver license must submit with the application for a license the required fee
(license fee) before any examination may be given. The fee allows the
applicant to take three examinations for each type of test required. If,
after three examinations, an applicant has not passed, a new application
and fee must be submitted before any additional exams may be taken.
The required exams must be completed before 90 days. The application
fee is valid for the location/schedule where the fee is paid.
f. The Department shall provide to each person who applies in person at
the Department’s offices for an original, renewal or duplicate of a driver
license or ID card, an opportunity to complete a voter registration application form.
g. Registration for Selective Service.
SPECIAL NOTE: If you do not pass the knowledge and driving tests on the
date of your first application, your incomplete application will be retained
in the Drivers License office for 90 days. After 90 days or three exam failures a new application and fee will be required.
SPECIAL NOTE CONCERNING MINORS: If you are under 18 years of age,
your application must be signed under oath by the parent having custody,
otherwise the guardian having custody. If the minor has no guardian, the
employer or county judge of his residence may sign. The person who
signs, before your 18th birthday, may ask the Department to cancel your
license. This request must be in writing and sworn to before an officer
authorized to administer oaths. In addition, the minor applicant and cosigner must sign a Zero Tolerance notification document that explains
the ZERO TOLERANCE LAW that is applicable to a person under the
age of 21. See page 10-3 for more information on this law.
WHO MAY SIGN: Parent having custody; otherwise legal guardian,
employer, or county judge.
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2. EXAMINATION—The knowledge and driving tests are not required for
applicants who surrender a valid out-of-state license. Applicants ages 15-18
are not required to take a driving test if they present a Texas Driver Education
Certificate stating that the person has completed both classroom and laboratory phases of the Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Course, or a
Department approved course. Applicants who complete the required
Department-approved Basic Motorcycle Operator Training Course will not be
required to take a driving test for a Class M (motorcycle) license provided the
person already has a valid unrestricted Texas driver license. Also, the driving
test is not required for applicants applying for an instruction permit.
lower to a higher class license or when adding each additional endorsement
on a Commercial Driver License (CDL) or removing restrictions from a
license. When adding a Class M to an existing license the fee is $15.00.
PARENT NOTE: Although a driving test is not required for a minor to obtain
a driver license if they have completed an approved course of driver education, a parent or guardian may desire that the minor take the driving
test. Upon the parent’s request, the minor will be required to take and
pass a driving test before an unrestricted license is issued.
PART 1—THE KNOWLEDGE (RULES & SIGNS) TEST
Three types of knowledge tests are given:
• Class C—knowledge test for all original applicants
• Class M—motorcycle road rules for motorcycle and moped applicants
• Class A or B—rules for operators of Class A and Class B vehicles
The answer to the questions on these tests can be found either in this handbook or the supplements. If you are taking a Class M or Class A or B test,
the proper supplement should also be studied carefully. To pass you need a
grade of 70% or better. An oral test may be arranged when it is needed.
PART 2—THE VISION TEST
Your vision will be tested. You may be required to wear corrective lenses
while driving if they will improve your vision and help to increase the safety
of your driving.
(The vehicle must have a valid inspection certificate attached and must pass
inspection by the Driver License trooper/examiner before the driving test is
given.)
Description of the driving test itself
1. You will not be asked to do anything against the law. You must follow the
trooper’s/examiner’s instructions. Do not carry on a conversation during the
driving test.
PART 3—THE DRIVING SKILLS TEST is given only after all other tests have
been passed and evidence of automobile liability insurance covering the
vehicle is presented or the vehicle is exempt under the Act. The type of vehicle that must be used for the driving test depends on the class of license
applied for. A $10.00 examination fee is required when changing from a
2. If you do not already have the legal privilege to drive in Texas, a licensed
driver should drive your vehicle to the test area as well as away from it if you
are not issued a permit to drive.
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3. Your application will not be approved if you:
a. violate the law,
elbow on the window.
b. refuse to follow instructions,
5. Upon completion of a driving test the trooper/examiner will tell you of
your errors and how to correct them. You will be given a written record of
your test.
c. drive dangerously,
d. have a crash,
e. have more than 30 points deducted on the driving test.
4. The driving test will vary according to the type of license applied for. You
will be graded on four basic skills, CONTROL–your ability to make your car
do what you want it to do, OBSERVATION–your ability to see what other traffic is doing and other things that may create problems in traffic, POSITIONING–your ability to drive in your lane and SIGNALING–your ability to use turn
signals as required. You may be graded on your performance of some of the
following things, so these would be good to practice before taking the exam.
• parallel parking
• quick stop—You may be asked to stop your car as quickly as possible
from about 20 miles per hour without skidding your tires.
• backing—Back your car for a distance of about fifty feet at a slow rate
of speed and as straight and smoothly as possible. Turn your head and
look back at all times while backing.
• stop signs or traffic signals
• use of clutch—On standard transmissions, hold the clutch all the way
down when starting the motor, shifting gears, and when speed drops
below 10 miles per hour when stopping. Do not ride with your foot rest-
ing on the clutch.
• intersection observance—Use proper lane. Slow down and look both
ways before entering intersection.
• turns
• right-of-way
• passing
6. If you do not pass the test, you will be told what items to practice on to
improve your driving skill and when to return for another examination.
7. If you pass the test:
a. Pay the required fee (unless fee was paid with original application):
your picture will be taken, and you will be given a receipt which you may
use as a temporary license for 60 days or until the Department mails
your permanent license to you. If for any reason you do not receive your
driver license in 60 days, contact your local Driver License office.
b. Record the number of your original license in case you lose your
license.
c. Always carry your license with you when driving. You must show your
license to the following people upon request:
1) any peace officer, sheriff, constable, judge, justice of the peace, or
state trooper who may ask to see it.
2) anyone with whom you are involved in a crash.
DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE PENALTIES
1st conviction - up to $200 fine
2nd conviction in one year - $25-$200 fine
3rd conviction in one year after 2nd conviction $25-$500 fine and 72 hours to 6 months in jail,
or both such fine and imprisonment
RESTRICTIONS THAT MAY BE PLACED ON YOUR LICENSE
• proper lane observance
• following
• posture—Keep both hands on steering wheel and do not rest your
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A reasonable restriction or endorsement may be placed on your driver
license to improve the safety of your driving. This restriction or endorsement
is not meant to interfere with your driving but to make you a better driver.
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In such cases, a code letter is placed on the license which designates the
type of restriction. The following table explains the different restrictions or
endorsements and the code letter(s) assigned.
RESTRICTION CODE
A With corrective lenses
B LOFS age 21 or over
C Daytime only
D Not to exceed 45 MPH
E No expressway driving
I M/C not to exceed 250 cc
J Licensed M/C Operator age 21 or over in sight
K Moped
L Vehicle w/o air brakes - applies to vehicles requiring CDL
M CDL Intrastate Commerce only
P Stated on license
Q LOFS 21 or over vehicle above Class B
R LOFS 21 or over vehicle above Class C
S Outside mirror or hearing aid
T Automatic transmission
U Applicable prosthetic devices
V Applicable vehicle devices
W Power steering
H
N
P
S
T
X
ENDORSEMENT CODE
Hazardous materials - CDL only
Tank vehicle - CDL only
Passenger - CDL only
School Bus - CDL only
Double/triple trailer (CDL and non CDL)
Combination of hazardous materials and tank vehicle - CDL only
REMOVING RESTRICTIONS OR ADDING ENDORSEMENTS
Contact your local Driver License office for information concerning the
removal or addition of any restrictions or endorsements from your driver
license or instruction permit.
SPECIAL NOTE: All applicants for a driver license or an identification cer-
tificate are required by state laws (Section 521.142 and 521.101 of the
Transportation Code) to submit their thumbprints to the Department. The
purpose of requiring thumbprints is to assist the Department in determining the proper identity of a person who is applying for a driver license or
identification certificate.
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A DUPLICATE LICENSE
You should apply for a duplicate license or ID card if your license or ID card
has been lost, destroyed, or for any change in information. This can be done
at your local Driver License office. If you have a change of address, a duplicate license or ID card may also be obtained online at www.txdps.state.tx.us.
Change of name and/or address must be reported to the Driver License
office within 30 days. A license expiring in less than 12 months or in less than
30 days for provisional license should be renewed rather than duplicated.
The cost for a duplicate license or change of address is $10.00.
A. IN-STATE LICENSEES—A licensee changing the address on a Texas driver license or identification card may apply at any Driver License office, online
at www.txdps.state.tx.us, or by mail using a Department-approved form (DL64) to: Driver Records Bureau MSC 0360, Texas Department of Public
Safety, PO Box 15999, Austin, Texas 78761-5999. Upon receipt of a $10.00
fee and proper notification, the Department will mail a new license or ID card
with the correct address information with your previous photograph or valid
without photo. (Exception: Commercial Driver License (CDL) cannot be
issued by internet, phone, or mail - you must apply in person.) You can obtain
form DL-64 on our website at www.txdps.state.tx.us.
B. OUT-OF-STATE LICENSEES—If you are out-of-state but maintaining a
Texas license, you may apply online at www.txdps.state.tx.us, or by mail for
a duplicate license (Exception: Commercial Driver License (CDL) cannot be
issued online or by mail - you must apply in person). Use the Department’s
duplicate application form which can be obtained at any Driver License office
or at our website at www.txdps.state.tx.us and remit with a $10.00 fee to:
License Issuance Bureau MSC 0310, Department of Public Safety, Box
15999, Austin, Texas 78761-5999.
RENEWING YOUR LICENSE
A renewal notice invitation may be mailed to you about 6 weeks before your
license expires. The notice will be sent to the last address that you provided
to the Department of Public Safety. Remember, if you do not receive this
notice, it is still up to you to renew your license.
Application for renewal—Application for renewal must normally be made in
person at any Texas Driver License office. Licensees may also check online
or by phone if they are eligible to renew by alternate means. Alternate types
of renewals include: online at www.txdps.state.tx.us, by mail, or by phone at
1-866-DL-RENEW. Alternate method will not be extended to: persons whose
licenses are suspended, cancelled, revoked, or denied; Commercial Driver
License holders; holders of occupational or provisional licenses; licensees
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restricted because of driving ability or a medical condition that requires periodic reviews of such indication, including any medical or physical condition
that may result in progressive changes to a licensee’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle; persons subject to sex offender registration requirements or a person who is 79 years of age or older.
DENIAL: The withholding of a driver license or driving privilege because the
person is ineligible for a license. A driver license may be issued when eligibility requirements are met.
Persons returning to Texas from Military Service must present a Texas driver
license and separation papers in order to obtain a renewal without a test,
when their license has been expired over two years.
A. MANDATORY SUSPENSIONS
You will be asked to answer questions concerning your medical history and
if you have certain medical limitations, your case will be referred to the Texas
Medical Advisory Board for their opinion about how your condition may affect
your driving.
An out-of-state Texas licensee may mail an application for renewal.
(Exceptions: a person subject to sex offender registration requirements, a
person who is 79 years of age or older, or a person holding a Commercial
Driver License (CDL) must be renewed in person.) The results of a vision
check by an eye specialist or an authorized Driver License employee and the
proper fee must be included. The license will be renewed and will be “valid
to expiration date shown or until 45 days after return to Texas, whichever
occurs first.” You must enclose the required renewal fee (check or money
order made payable to: Texas Department of Public Safety) with your application. Mail this application to:
LICENSE ISSUANCE BUREAU MSC 0310
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
PO BOX 15999
AUSTIN TX 78761-5999
SUSPENSIONS AND REVOCATIONS
Operating a motor vehicle is a privilege. If this privilege is abused it may
result in driver license suspension or revocation.
SUSPENSION: The temporary withdrawal of a driver license or driving privilege for a definite period of time.
REVOCATION: The termination of a driver license or driving privilege for an
indefinite period of time. May be restored when all requirements for the revocation have been satisfied.
CANCELLATION: The withdrawal of a driver license or driving privilege until
the driver is able to requalify.
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Mandatory suspensions, revocations, and convictions for offenses involving
fraudulent government records, require a $100.00 reinstatement fee.
Administrative License Revocations (ALR) requires a $125.00 reinstatement
fee. Some mandatory suspensions also require the filing of an SR-22 (proof
of financial responsibility).
Convictions of the following offenses will result in the automatic suspension of a driving privilege. (See the Commercial Driver License
Handbook for additional information concerning disqualifications. Also,
see Suspensions/Revocations for Individuals Under 21 for additional
suspension information.)
• driving while intoxicated (DWI) by use of alcohol or drugs,
• drug offense,
• intoxication manslaughter,
• intoxication assault,
• failure to stop and render aid,
• causing the death or serious injury of anyone while operating a motor
vehicle,
• any offense punishable as a felony under the motor vehicle laws of
Texas,
• overtaking and passing a school bus (subsequent conviction),
• boating while intoxicated,
• evading arrest,
• driving while license invalid,
• altered/unlawful use of driver license,
• displaying or possessing a driver license or identification card that is
fictitious or altered,
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• lending a driver license or identification card to someone else,
• possessing more than one valid driver license or identification card,
• providing false information or documents when applying for a driver
license,
• making, selling, or possessing a document deceptively similar to a driver license or identification card issued by the Department of Public
Safety,
• graffiti,
• fictitious license plate, registration certificate, or safety inspection sticker,
• fraudulent government records,
• racing a motor vehicle on public highway or street.
B. ADMINISTRATIVE SUSPENSIONS/REVOCATIONS
The Department of Public Safety has the authority to suspend/revoke
the driver license or driving privilege of any driver, after an opportunity
for proper hearing, for the following reasons. (See the Commercial
Driver License Handbook for additional information concerning disqualifications.) A reinstatement fee is required for all discretionary suspensions/revocations.
• driving while license suspended,
• causing a serious accident while operating a motor vehicle,
• becoming incompetent to drive,
• repeated violations of traffic laws:
• 4 or more convictions for moving violations occurring separately
within any 12-month period or 7 or more within any 24-month period,
• habitual reckless or negligent driving,
• permit unlawful or fraudulent use of one’s driver license,
• violating a driver license endorsement requirement,
• two or more convictions for violating a driver license restriction,
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• failure to comply with the terms of a citation issued by another state
that is a member of the Nonresident Violator Compact of 1977,
• failure to complete a DWI education program within 181 days if completion is a term of probation upon conviction of DWI,
• failure to complete a repeat offender alcohol education program as
required when convicted of DWI,
• failure to complete a drug education program as required upon conviction of a drug offense,
• failure to provide medical information when requested,
• failure to take or pass an examination when requested,
• fleeing or attempting to flee from a police officer,
• has committed an offense in another state, which if committed in this
state would be grounds for suspension or revocation,
• fail to stop for a school bus (second conviction),
• violates a probation order set by a previous hearing.
C. SUSPENSIONS/REVOCATIONS FOR INDIVIDUALS UNDER 21
Convictions or failure to comply with the following offenses will result in
the automatic suspension of a driving privilege of persons under 21
years of age: (Also see Administrative License Revocation (ALR) for
additional suspension information regarding minors.)
• Alcoholic Beverage Code offenses:
- minor in possession,
- attempt to purchase alcohol by a minor,
- purchase of alcohol by a minor,
- consumption of alcohol by a minor,
- misrepresentation of age by a minor,
- driving under the influence of alcohol by a minor,
- failure to complete an alcohol awareness class,
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• Health and Safety Code violations:
- fail to complete a tobacco awareness class when required,
- drug offense,
- an offense under the controlled substance act,
- a felony under chapter 481, that is not a drug offense.
• Family Code violations:
- delinquent conduct by a minor or juvenile,
- truancy.
The Department of Public Safety has the authority to suspend/revoke
the driver license or driving privilege of a minor, after a proper hearing,
for the following reasons:
• failure to appear or default in payment of a fine for a traffic or a non traffic violation,
• a juvenile court order under Section 54.042 Family Code,
• a court order under Section 106.115. Alcoholic Beverage Code,
• failure to pay fine; contempt; juvenile Art. 45.050 CCP,
• repeated violations of traffic laws:
- 2 or more convictions for moving violations occurring separately
within any 12-month period for a driver who has a provisional driver
license.
- 1 or more convictions for a moving violation if the driver holds a 60day hardship (Minor’s Restricted Driver License) license.
D. ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE REVOCATION (ALR)
The Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Law became effective
January 1, 1995. A $125 reinstatement fee is required for all ALR suspensions.
• Chapter 524 of the Transportation Code provides for suspending the
license (over 21) for failing a breath or blood test when the blood alcohol content (BAC) indicates a level of .08 or more.
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• Chapter 724 of the Transportation Code provides for suspending the
driver license or driving privilege of any individual who refuses to submit
to a breath or blood test.
• Chapter 524 of the Transportation Code and Section 106.041 of the
Alcoholic Beverage Code provides for suspending the driver license or
driving privilege of individuals under 21 years of age for any detectable
amount of alcohol. Senate Bill 35 as passed by the Texas Legislature
became law on September 1, 1997. This law provides that a minor (a
person who is under the age of 21) may not drive a motor vehicle with
any detectable amount of alcohol (.00) in their system. This law is commonly referred to as the ZERO TOLERANCE LAW. This law provides for
the suspension of a minor’s driver license for any detectable amount of
alcohol in the minor’s system or refusal to provide a specimen of the
minor’s breath or blood for analysis. See Chapter 10 for more detailed
information about the ZERO TOLERANCE LAW for minors.
E. CANCELLATIONS
The Department of Public Safety is authorized to cancel the license or
ID card of individuals who do not meet certain qualifications. The following types of cases require cancellation of a driver license or ID card:
• suspension/revocation action from another state,
• parental authorization withdrawn (for individuals under 18 years of
age),
• failure to give required information in the application for the license or
ID card,
• person was not entitled to the license or ID card,
• incomplete driver education,
• voluntary surrender for medical or insurance purposes,
• false statement on application license or ID card.
F. COURT-ORDERED SUSPENSION/REVOCATION/CANCELLATION
The Department shall, upon receipt of an order from the court, suspend,
revoke or cancel the driver license or driving privilege for the following:
• delinquent child support,
• requirement for a deep lung breath analysis mechanism (interlock
device),
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• failure to repay any overpayment of food stamps or financial assistance,
• mentally incapacitated,
• chemically dependent,
• fail to renew annually - classified sex offender.
G. DENIALS
The Department of Public Safety is authorized to deny the issuance of a
driver license to a person who is ineligible to receive a license in this
state. An applicant may be denied a driver license for the following reasons:
• suspension/revocation/cancellation/disqualification status in this state,
another state, or Canadian Province,
• physical or mental incapacity that prevents the safe operation of a
motor vehicle,
• acquiring motor vehicle fuel without payment,
• certain criminal mischief (graffiti),
• purchasing for or furnishing alcohol to a minor.
SPECIAL NOTE: The Department of Public Safety may deny the renewal
of a driver license of a Texas licensee who fails to appear in court for traffic violations or certain other offenses within the jurisdiction of a justice or
municipal court.
H. DRIVING WHILE LICENSE INVALID
The penalties for driving a motor vehicle while your driver license or driving privilege is suspended, canceled, denied, or revoked are:
1. a fine not to exceed $200.00.
2. suspension of your driver license or driving privilege will be automatically extended upon the licensee being convicted of operating a motor
vehicle while suspended, canceled, or revoked; such extended period of
suspension will be for a like period of time as the original suspension.
3. A subsequent conviction is a Class B misdemeanor.
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I. SANCTIONS FOR NON-DRIVING ALCOHOL-RELATED OFFENSES
BY MINORS
Texas’ ZERO TOLERANCE LAW also provides sanctions for minors who
commit offenses under the NON-DRIVING alcohol-related offenses.
Generally speaking, a minor may not purchase, attempt to purchase,
falsely state that they are 21 years of age or older or present any document that indicates that they are 21 years of age or older to a person
engaged in the selling or serving of alcoholic beverages, consume, or
possess an alcoholic beverage. The penalty upon conviction of one of
the above NON-DRIVING alcohol-related offenses and for Public
Intoxication for a minor is as follows:
1st NON-DRIVING Alcohol-Related Offense by a Minor—Class C mis-
demeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500.00, 8 to 12 hours of
community service, and mandatory attendance of an alcohol awareness course. The minor’s driver license will be suspended (or his/her
privilege denied if not licensed) for 30 days.
2nd NON-DRIVING Alcohol-Related Offense by a Minor—Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500.00, 20 to 40 hours of community service, and may be required to attend an alcohol awareness
course. The minor’s driver license will be suspended (or his/her driving privilege denied if not licensed) for 60 days.
3rd NON-DRIVING Alcohol-Related Offense by a Minor (17 years of age
or older but less than 21)—Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine
of not less than $250.00 nor more than $2,000.00, not less than 20
nor more than 40 hours of community service, and/or confinement in
jail not to exceed 180 days. The minor’s driver license will be suspended (or his/her privilege denied if not licensed) for 180 days.
Minors are not eligible for deferred disposition on the third and subsequent convictions.
Beginning September 1, 1999, a minor who is convicted of driving while
his/her license is suspended because of a non-driving alcohol related
offense is subject to the penalties of Driving While License Invalid (see
Chapter One for Penalties).
J. OTHER SANCTIONS FOR NON-DRIVING ALCOHOL-RELATED OFFENSES
A person who purchases an alcoholic beverage for a minor or who furnishes an alcoholic beverage to a minor can be punished by a fine up to
$4,000.00 and/or confinement in jail for up to one year. A person who
sells a minor an alcoholic beverage can be punished by a fine up to
$4,000.00 and/or confinement in jail for up to one year.
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K. ESSENTIAL NEED (OCCUPATIONAL) LICENSE
This is a special license issued by the Department of Public Safety to
persons whose licenses have been suspended for causes other than
physical or mental disability or impairment and can prove to a court an
essential need to drive. Applications for such licenses are made to the
district or county court of the county of the licensee's residence or to the
court of original jurisdiction, whichever is applicable.
A person who is issued this license must carry a certified copy of the
court order with him when operating a motor vehicle. This person must
allow a police officer to examine the order at the officer’s lawful request.
This license may not be issued to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
Fee: $10.00 per year
L. DRIVER RESPONSIBILITY PROGRAM
The Driver Responsibility law is governed by Texas Transportation
Code, Chapter 708, which established a system to assess surcharges
based on certain traffic offenses that have occurred on or after
September 1, 2003. A surcharge is an administrative fee charged to a
driver based on the convictions reported to the driving record. There are
two criteria that determine if a surcharge will be assessed. Those two criteria are: Point System and Conviction Based surcharges.
POINT SYSTEM
Points are assessed to moving traffic violation convictions. Once the
conviction has been added to the driver record, points will be assigned
and will remain on the driver record for a period of three years. Points
are assigned as follows:
• 2 points for a Texas or out-of-state moving violation conviction
• 3 points for a Texas or out-of-state moving violation conviction that
resulted in a crash
A surcharge will be assessed when the driver accumulates a total of 6
points or more on their record. The driver is required to pay a $100 surcharge for the first six points and $25 for each additional point. The driver record will be reviewed annually and if it continues to reflect 6 or more
points, the surcharge will be assessed. Drivers may be required to pay
for one or more years. Point surcharges may vary with each annual
assessment if convictions are added or removed from the driver record.
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CONVICTION BASED
Drivers who receive a conviction for one of the offenses below will pay
an annual surcharge for a period of three years from the date of conviction. No points are assessed for these offenses because the surcharge is automatic upon conviction.
Once the conviction has been reported to DPS, surcharges are
assessed as follows:
Type of Conviction
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)- 1st offense
DWI- 2 or more
Surcharge
Per year for 3
years
$1,000
$1,500
DWI with blood alcohol
concentration of 0.16 or greater
$2,000
Driving While License
Invalid
$ 250
No Insurance
No Driver License
$ 250
$ 100
DRP AMNESTY AND INCENTIVE PROGRAMS
Surcharges assessed on or after September 1, 2007 will be eligible for
the Amnesty and Incentive programs, which will be implemented in early
2009.
If an individual provides proof of insurance for a No Insurance surcharge
assessment, the surcharge would be reduced to 75% of the initial surcharge amount. For individuals entering an installment agreement, the
policy would be verified monthly to ensure compliance is maintained.
The individual would be required to maintain liability insurance for the life
of the surcharge assessments to qualify for the reduction each year. If
the person defaults during the year, the reduction would be voided and
the initial assessment would be applied.
If an individual has a Driving without a Valid License surcharge and
obtains the appropriate type of license for the cited offense, the sur1-27
charge would be reduced to 75% of the initial surcharge amount. The
individual would be required to maintain a valid driver license for the life
of the surcharge assessments to qualify for the reduction each year. If
the person defaults during the year, the reduction would be voided and
the initial assessment would be applied.
If an individual receives a surcharge assessment for an Intoxication,
Driving While License Invalid, or Point surcharge, and the history reflects
compliance with the law by no additional convictions being reported on
the history since the initial offense, the subsequent year surcharge
assessments will be reduced. The second year surcharge will be
reduced to 90% of the initial surcharge amount if the history meets the
established criteria. The third year surcharge will be reduced to 80% of
the initial surcharge amount if the history meets the established criteria.
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CHAPTER 2
VEHICLE INSPECTION
AND REGISTRATION
VEHICLE INSPECTION
Keep your car in good condition. The state inspection program gives you further safety protection. Its purpose is to ensure that the Texas vehicles on the
highways are in safe working condition.
All motor vehicles registered in Texas, including motorcycles, motor scooters, and mopeds must be inspected each year by an official motor vehicle
inspection station. Evidence of financial responsibility for the vehicle being
inspected must be presented at the time of inspection. If evidence of financial responsibility is not presented, an inspection certificate will not be
issued.
When a vehicle passes inspection, an approved certificate must be placed
on the windshield. Motorcycles and mopeds shall have the inspection certificate displayed near the rear license plate. These certificates are good for
one year from the month of inspection. Any vehicle involved in a crash must
be reinspected after repairs have been made.
In addition to the safety inspection, an emissions test is required for motor
vehicles that are capable of being powered by gasoline from two years old
to and including twenty-four years old, and registered in or required to be
registered in and primarily operated in a designated county. Designated
counties include Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, Collin, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman,
Parker, Rockwall, Harris, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Galveston, Montgomery, El
Paso, Travis and Williamson counties.
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EQUIPMENT INSPECTED ANNUALLY
Rearview Mirror
Tail Lights
Brake Lights
Signal Lights
License Plate
Light
Exhaust System
License Plate Light—a white light lighting the rear license plate when the
Windshield Wipers
Reflectors
Motor ID or
Serial Number
Horn
Beam Indicator
Wheels
Steering
Rims
Seat Belts
Tires
Brakes
(Foot and Parking)
shall be equipped with electric turn signals (motorcycles and certain trailers excepted), except that passenger cars and trucks less than 80 inches in width and manufactured prior to model year 1960 need not be
equipped with electrical turn signals.
headlights (or auxiliary lamps) are lighted.
Signal Lights
Head Lights
Emission
System
(1968 or Later)
REQUIRED EQUIPMENT
You must have the following equipment in proper working order for your car to
be considered safe:
1. BRAKES
Foot Brake—must stop car within a distance of 25 feet at a speed of 20
miles per hour.
Parking Brake—should be adequate to stop and hold car.
Reflectors—two red reflectors, one on each side of car. (May be in combination with tail lights)—placed at a height of 15 to 60 inches and visible up to 600 feet. Reflectors must be visible up to 350 feet on vehicles
manufactured prior to the year model 1960.
Parking Lights—white or amber on the front, red to the rear (may be in
combination with other lights).
3. HORN—must be heard for a distance of 200 feet.
4. MUFFLER—a muffler and exhaust system—all 1968 or later models
must be equipped with an exhaust emission system to help reduce air pollution.
5. SAFETY GLASS—all new cars must be equipped with safety glass. All
replacements of glass for any car must be with safety glass.
6. LICENSE PLATES—must have one valid plate at the front and one at the
rear of passenger and commercial vehicles except dealer plates and those
commercial vehicles that are only issued one license plate.
7. WINDSHIELD WIPER—for safety in bad weather.
8. REARVIEW MIRROR—shall be so located as to be able to reflect a view
of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of the vehicle.
Two Headlights—one on each side on the front—a beam indicator showing when the high headlight beam is on.
9. SLOW-MOVING VEHICLE EMBLEM—farm tractors and machinery, road
construction machinery, animal-drawn vehicles and certain other motor vehicles designed to travel at 25 miles per hour or less must display the slowmoving vehicle emblem.
Brake Lights—all vehicles shall be equipped with two brake lights (stop
11. TIRES—all vehicles are required to be equipped with tires that are in
proper and safe condition with a minimum tread depth of 2/32nds of an inch.
2. LIGHTS
Tail Lights—all vehicles shall be equipped with two tail lights, except that
models manufactured prior to model year 1960 shall be required to have
only one tail light.
lights) except that models manufactured prior to model year 1960 shall
be required to have only one brake light (stop light).
Turn Signals—every motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer, and pole-trailer
2-2
10. FRONT SEAT BELTS—are required equipment if seat belt anchorages
were part of the original equipment of the automobile.
12. FUEL CAP—the fuel cap on gasoline–powered vehicles from 2 to 24
years old will be checked to determine if the fuel cap is missing or defective.
(EXCEPTIONS: antique vehicles, circus vehicles, slow moving vehicles,
2-3
motorcycles, and vehicles operated exclusively by a fuel other than gasoline
and vehicles newer than 2 years or older than 24 years.)
For house trailer information on lights, flares, flags, etc., see page 15-1,
Special Requirements for Commercial Motor Vehicles. For motorcycle equipment and information, see separate Motorcycle Supplement.
EQUIPMENT WHICH YOU MUST NOT HAVE
Certain equipment is considered unsafe and therefore not allowed:
1. A red light showing from the front—except on an emergency vehicle.
2. A bell, siren, or exhaust whistle—except on an emergency vehicle.
3. A muffler cutout.
4. Anything that extends more than three inches beyond the left side or six
inches beyond the right side of the body, running board, or fenders of your
car.
5. Flashing red lights on the front—except on emergency vehicles, school
buses, and church buses.
(See “Flashing Lights” under “Optional Equipment.”)
Minimum road clearance—a vehicle must not be modified or weighted in
such a manner that the body is below the lowest part of the rims of the
wheels.
to warn of unusual traffic hazards—must show flashing amber or white to the
front and flashing amber or red to the rear and must flash simultaneously.
6. Additional lights—any motor vehicle may have up to three additional
driving lights mounted on the front—not less than 12 nor more than 42 inches from the road surface.
7. Sunscreen or window tinting—if used, must comply with appropriate
state regulations for your vehicle make and model.
VEHICLE REGISTRATION
When a nonresident owner or operator establishes residency in Texas or
enters into gainful employment, his vehicle may be operated for 30 days
thereafter, after which time the vehicle must be currently registered in Texas.
A new resident desiring to register his vehicle must obtain a new Texas vehicle inspection certificate and verification of the vehicle identification number
by a state-approved vehicle inspection station prior to registration. The vehicle owner will then be provided the necessary form for processing the vehicle registration. Evidence of financial responsibility for the vehicle being registered must be presented at the time of registration. If evidence of financial
responsibility is not presented, then the vehicle cannot be registered. A new
Texas resident must register every vehicle that he owns before applying for
a Texas driver license. The registration receipt issued by the county tax
assessor-collector for each vehicle will be acceptable proof of registration
when applying for a Texas driver license.
OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT
1. Spotlight—must be turned off for a vehicle approaching from opposite
direction. If headlights fail, it may be used with the beam striking the road not
more than 50 feet in front of the vehicle on which it is used.
2. Side cowl or fender light—two permitted—must show amber or white
light without glare.
3. Running board courtesy lights—one on each side permitted—must show
amber or white light without glare.
4. Backup lights—two permitted separately or in combination with other
lights. Do not use when vehicle is in forward motion.
5. Flashing lights—widespread flashing lights may be used on any vehicle
2-4
2-5
CHAPTER 3
SAFETY RESPONSIBILITY
(The Liability Insurance Law)
The Safety Responsibility Act was enacted to ensure all drivers are financially responsible for the death, injury, or property damage they may cause
while operating a motor vehicle. All owners and/or operators of motor vehicles in Texas must have at least the minimum amount of liability insurance.
• $25,000 against injury or death of one person;
• $50,000 against injury or death of two persons;
• $25,000 against property damage.
In order to comply with the Safety Responsibility Act, a driver, unless exempt,
must maintain liability insurance or be self-insured under the provisions of
the Act. Evidence of financial responsibility must be presented to the proper
authorities at the time a person applies for a driver license, registers a motor
vehicle, or obtains a motor vehicle inspection certificate.
Every owner and/or operator of a motor vehicle in Texas is required, as a
condition of driving, to furnish upon request, evidence of financial responsibility to a law enforcement officer or to another person involved in a crash.
The following list includes what is acceptable proof of financial responsibility.
• a liability insurance policy in at least the minimum amounts listed above, or
• a standard proof of liability insurance form prescribed by the Texas
Department of Insurance and issued by a liability insurer that includes:
- the name of the insurer;
- the insurance policy number;
- the policy period;
3-1
- the name and address of each insured;
- the policy limits or a statement that the coverage of the policy complies
with at least the minimum amounts of liability insurance required by this
Act; and
- the make and model of each covered vehicle;
- an insurance binder that indicates the owner and/or operator is in
compliance with the Act;
- a certificate or copy of a certificate issued by the state comptroller that
shows that the owner of the vehicle has on deposit with the treasurer
money or securities in at least the amount ($55,000) required by Texas
Transportation Code (TRC), Section 601.122;
- a surety bond issued by the Department of Public Safety that shows
that the vehicle is a vehicle for which a bond is on file with the
Department as provided by TRC, Section 601.121;
- a copy of a certificate issued by the county judge of a county in which
the vehicle is registered that shows that the owner of the vehicle has on
deposit with the county judge, cash or a cashier’s check in at least the
amount ($55,000) required by TRC, Section 601.123; or
- a certificate issued by the Department that shows a person has more
than twenty-five (25) vehicles registered in his or her name, qualifies as
a self-insurer in accordance with TRC, Section 601.124.
• Upon conviction of a traffic violation providing for automatic suspension of
a driver license, unless proof of insurance is presented to the DPS;
• If a judgment resulting from a crash has not been satisfied within 60 days
of the judgment;
• If an installment agreement arising out of a settlement of a crash is in
default;
• If, while uninsured, involved in a crash in which another person is killed,
injured, or there is at least $1,000 damage to one person’s property and
there exists a reasonable probability of a judgment being rendered against
the driver.
• When required to maintain proof of financial responsibility, this proof must
remain on file for two years.
More specific information about compliance with the Safety Responsibility
Act may be obtained at any Department of Public Safety office or by writing
to:
DRIVER IMPROVEMENT and COMPLIANCE BUREAU
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
PO BOX 4087
AUSTIN TX 78773-0330
WEBSITE: www.txdps.state.tx.us
If an owner and/or operator fails to show proof of financial responsibility
when required, he may receive a citation. The court will dismiss the charge
if proof is provided that a liability insurance policy was in effect when the citation was issued.
Upon conviction of operating a motor vehicle without sufficient evidence of
financial responsibility, when required, a driver is subject to a $175 minimum
fine and not more than a $350 maximum fine. Second and subsequent convictions will result in driver license and motor vehicle registration suspensions in addition to a minimum fine of $350 and not more than a $1,000 fine.
Also, a second or subsequent conviction requires the court to order
impoundment of the motor vehicle being driven or operated by the person at
the time of the offense, provided that the defendant was an owner of the
vehicle at the time of the offense and is an owner of the vehicle on the date
of conviction. The vehicle shall be impounded for a period of 180 days.
Before the court orders the release of the vehicle, evidence of financial
responsibility must be presented to the court.
The license and motor vehicle registration of a driver will be suspended:
3-2
3-3
CHAPTER 4
RIGHT-OF-WAY
Drivers, at times, must yield to others. There are certain rules to help determine the right-of-way, but if the other driver doesn’t follow these rules, give
him the right-of-way. Remember, in every situation, right-of-way is something
to be given, not taken. All drivers should know and understand the rules
which determine the right-of-way.
RIGHT-OF-WAY AT INTERSECTIONS
Situation 1—Intersections controlled by signs and signals.—When signs and
signals control traffic at an intersection, obey them. Know the meaning of
these signs and signals, some of
which are explained in Chapter 5
of this handbook.
Situation 2—Single or two-lane
road intersecting with multiplelane road.—When driving on a sin-
gle or two-lane road you must
yield to: (1) vehicles traveling on a
divided street or roadway, or (2)
vehicles traveling on a roadway
with three or more lanes.
• Yield to vehicle on multi-lane highway
Situation 3—Unpaved road intersecting with a paved road.—If you are driving
on an unpaved road, which intersects with a paved road, you must yield the
right-of-way to vehicles traveling on the paved road.
4-1
Situation 4—Intersections not controlled by signs and signals, multi-lanes, or
pavement.—When approaching an intersection of this type, you shall yield
the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection on your
right or is approaching the intersection from your right. If the road to
your right is clear, or if approaching
vehicles are far enough from the
intersection to make your crossing
safe, you may proceed. Since there
are no traffic controls at this intersection, make sure that there are
no approaching vehicles from the
left. You may legally have the rightof-way, but you should be sure the
other driver yields to you before
you proceed.
• Yield to vehicle on right
Situation
7—T
Intersection.—
When approaching an intersection
of a through street from a street
that ends at the intersection, first
you must stop and then yield the
right-of-way to the vehicles on the
through street.
• Stop and yield to vehicles on
through street
Situation 8—Entering or leaving controlled-access highway.—The driver of a
vehicle proceeding on an access or frontage road of a controlled-access
highway shall yield the right-of-way to:
ONE-WAY FRONTAGE ROAD
YIELD
Situation 5—Turning left.—When
turning left you must yield the rightof-way to any vehicles coming
straight through from the other
direction.
YIELD
YIELD
TURN LEFT RULE
• Yield to vehicles approaching
Situation 6—Private roads and driveways.—When entering or crossing a
road, street, or highway from a private road, alley, building, or driveway after
stopping prior to the sidewalk, you shall yield the right-of-way to all approaching vehicles and pedestrians.
4-2
TWO-WAY FRONTAGE ROAD
YIELD
a. a vehicle entering or about to enter the road from the highway; or,
b. a vehicle leaving or about to leave the road to enter the highway.
4-3
(1,500) feet of the highway crossing emits a signal audible from such distance and such engine by reason of its speed or nearness to such crossing
is an immediate hazard; or
5. An approaching railroad train is plainly visible and in hazardous proximity to such crossing.
6. A person who fails to obey the law regarding railroad grade crossings is
subject to a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $200.
The driver of a vehicle required to stop at a railroad grade crossing as provided by this law shall remain stopped until the driver is permitted to proceed
and it is safe to proceed.
Situation 9—Driving on multiple-lane roadways.—On a roadway divided into
three (3) or more lanes providing for one-way movement, a vehicle entering
a lane of traffic from a lane to the right shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle entering the same lane of traffic from a lane to the left.
ADDITIONAL SAFE DRIVING PROCEDURES AT RAILROAD CROSSINGS ARE:
1. If a railroad crossing is marked only with a crossbuck sign - reduce
speed, look both ways, and listen for audible signal whistle. If a train is
approaching - STOP; if not, proceed only upon exercising due care.
2. If red lights are flashing at a railroad crossing - STOP. If a train is
approaching, remain stopped until the train passes by and the lights stop
flashing.
3. If railroad crossing arms have been lowered - STOP. You must wait until
the train has passed and the gates are raised.
4. Never stop on tracks. If your car stalls on the tracks and you cannot
restart it, get out and try to push it off the tracks. If you cannot push it off the
tracks, get help. If a train is approaching and your vehicle is stalled, get out
quickly and get clear of the tracks. Run in the direction from which the train
is approaching to avoid flying debris, staying clear of the tracks.
Situation 10—Railroad grade crossings.—Texas law requires obedience to a
signal indicating approach of a train. Whenever any person driving a vehicle
approaches a railroad grade crossing, the driver of such vehicle shall stop
within fifty (50) feet but not less than fifteen (15) feet from the nearest rail of
such railroad if:
5. Be sure all tracks are clear before you proceed across. There may be
two or more sets of tracks. One train could be blocking the view of another.
2. A crossing gate is lowered or a human flag person warns of the
approach or passage of a railroad train;
7. Audible signals or whistles may be difficult to hear when approaching
railroad crossings. It is suggested that you roll your window down, turn your
radio down, and listen carefully.
1. A clearly visible railroad signal warns of the approach of a train;
3. The driver is required to stop by other law, a rule adopted under a
statute, an official traffic-control device or a traffic-control signal;
4. A railroad engine approaching within approximately fifteen hundred
4-4
6. Remember, trains do not and cannot stop at crossings - they always
have the right-of-way.
8. If you encounter a railroad grade crossing signal problem, please call the
Texas Department of Public Safety Headquarters Communications Center in
Austin (toll-free number is 1-800-772-7677) or your local police department
4-5
or county sheriff’s office. Each railroad crossing signal has an identifying
number. Please note the number and be ready to provide it when reporting
a problem.
GIVE THE RIGHT-OF-WAY TO SCHOOL BUSES
STOP
GIVE THE RIGHT-OF-WAY TO EMERGENCY VEHICLES
You must yield the right-of-way to
police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles which are sounding a siren or
bell or flashing a red light by
pulling to the right edge of the
roadway and stopping. In the
event traffic is so congested as to
prevent you from safely doing so,
slow down and leave a clear path
for the emergency vehicle.
SCHOOL
BUS
STOP
You must not follow within 500 feet
of a fire truck answering an alarm
or an ambulance when the flashing red lights are on. Do not drive
into or park in the block where the
fire truck has answered an alarm
or park your vehicle so as to interfere with the arrival or departure of an
ambulance to or from the scene of an emergency.
Drivers nearing a stopped emergency vehicle that has lights activated,
unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer, must:
• Vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle, if the highway has two
or more lanes traveling in the direction of the emergency vehicle; or
• Slow to a speed not more than 20 mph less than the posted speed limit
when the posted speed limit is 25 mph or more; or
• Slow to a speed not more than 5 mph when the posted speed limit is
less than 25 mph.
4-6
Drive with care when you near a school bus. If you approach a school bus
from either direction and the bus is displaying alternately flashing red lights,
you must stop and not pass until (1) the school bus has resumed motion, or
(2) you are signaled by the driver to proceed, or (3) the red lights are no
longer flashing.
You need not stop when meeting or passing a school bus which is (1) on a
different roadway, or (2) upon a controlled-access highway where the school
bus is stopped in a loading zone and pedestrians are not permitted to cross
the roadway.
A person who fails to obey the law regarding yielding the right-of-way to
school buses displaying alternating, flashing lights, is subject to a fine of not
less than $200.00 or more than $1,000.00. A second or subsequent conviction can result in a license suspension up to 6 months. The offense is a Class
A misdemeanor if the person causes serious bodily injury to another or a
state jail felony if the person has been previously convicted of causing serious bodily injury to another.
YIELD THE RIGHT-OF-WAY TO PEDESTRIANS
Avoid turning your car into a deadly weapon. You should always be on the
lookout for people on foot whether or not they have the right-of-way. Drivers
must yield to pedestrians in the following situations:
Situation 1—Uncontrolled intersections.—At an uncontrolled intersection no
traffic signs or signals if the pedestrian has entered the crosswalk, you the
driver should give him the right-of-way.
Situation 2—Controlled intersections.—If the pedestrian has a “WALK” signal,
or, if no pedestrian control signals exist, at a green light, you should give the
pedestrian the right-of-way. If the light changes after the pedestrian has already
entered the crosswalk, you should still give the pedestrian the right-of-way.
4-7
CHAPTER 5
SIGNALS, SIGNS, AND MARKERS
TRAFFIC SIGNALS
Traffic signals help provide for the orderly movement of traffic. Drivers must
obey these signals except when an officer is directing traffic. You must obey
a traffic officer at all times even if he is telling you to do something which is
ordinarily considered against the law.
STEADY RED LIGHT
Stop before entering the crosswalk or intersection. You may turn right unless
prohibited by law. You may also turn left if both streets are one way unless
prohibited by law. You must yield to all pedestrians and other traffic lawfully
using the intersection.
STEADY YELLOW LIGHT
Caution—red light coming up! You must STOP before entering the nearest
crosswalk at the intersection, if you can do so safely. If a stop cannot be
made safely, you may proceed cautiously through the intersection before the
light changes to red.
STEADY GREEN LIGHT
Go if it is safe to do so. You may go straight ahead or you may turn, unless
prohibited by some other sign or signal. Watch for vehicles and pedestrians
in the intersection. Beware of careless drivers who may try to race across the
intersection to beat a red light.
5-1
A Green Arrow showing at the same time as a Red Light
Proceed carefully in the direction of the
arrow after yielding the right-of-way
to other vehicles and pedestrians.
TRAFFIC SIGNS
Traffic signs can help you to be a better driver. They help you in the following ways:
1. They WARN of hazards ahead that would otherwise be difficult to see.
2. They GUIDE drivers to their destination by identifying the route.
3. They INFORM of local regulations and practices.
4. They REGULATE the speed and movement of traffic.
A Flashing Red Light
Stop completely before entering the
crosswalk or intersection, then proceed when you can do so safely.
Vehicles on the intersecting roadway may not have to stop.
A Flashing Yellow Light
Caution—Slow down and proceed
with caution.
LEFT TURN
YIELD
ON GREEN
You may turn left on a light
that is green. However, you
must yield the right-of-way
if other traffic is approaching
from the opposite direction.
5-2
5-3
STANDARD
COLORS:
RED:
Stop or prohibition.
KNOW THESE SIGNS
BY THEIR SHAPES
—so that you will know what
to do at a distance.
OCTAGON:
Exclusively for Stop signs.
GREEN:
Indicated movements
permitted, direction
guidance.
HORIZONTAL
RECTANGLE:
Generally for guide
signs.
BLUE:
Motorist services
guidance.
EQUILATERAL
TRIANGLE:
Exclusively for Yield signs.
YELLOW:
General warning.
PENNANT:
Advance warning of
No Passing Zones.
BLACK:
Regulation.
DIAMOND:
Exclusively to warn of existing
or possible hazards on
roadways or adjacent areas.
WHITE:
Regulation.
STOP
4-WAY
PENTAGON:
School advance and school
crossing signs.
ROUND:
Railroad advance warning
signs.
BROWN:
Public recreation
and scenic guidance.
5-4
ters or a yellow sign with black letters.
Stop before the crosswalk or intersection. Do not block the pedestrian
crosswalk. A stop sign means that you
must bring you car to a complete stop.
Slowing down is not enough.
If you stop behind other stopped vehicles, you must make another stop at a
clearly marked line or before entering
the intersection if a stop line is not
present.
ALL-WAY
The “4-WAY” or “ALL WAY” sign
added to a stop sign advises that all
approaching traffic to this intersection
must stop.
YIELD
“YIELD” This sign tells you that the
VERTICAL
RECTANGLE:
Generally for regulatory
signs.
ORANGE:
Construction and
maintenance
warning.
“STOP” A red stop sign with white let-
road you are on joins with another
road ahead. You should slow down or
stop if necessary so that you can yield
the right-of-way to vehicles on the
other road.
“SCHOOL ZONE” The speed shown is
in effect when the yellow light is flashing. Be extremely careful for school
children.
20
WHEN
FLASHING
5-5
WARNING SIGNS
Warning signs alert drivers to conditions which lie immediately ahead and tell
them what to look for. There may be road hazards, changes in direction or
some other situation which you should know about. Not only must warning
signs be observed for the sake of safety, but to disregard them may be a traffic violation.
12'-6'
LOW
You are approaching
a point where two
roadways come
together, but you are
not required to merge,
an additional lane
begins. Watch for
traffic in the new lane.
The road curves one
way (right) and then
the other way (left).
Slow down, keep right
and do not pass.
Road ahead makes a
gradual curve in the
direction of the arrow
(right). Slow down,
keep right and do not
pass.
Another road enters
the road you are
traveling on from the
direction shown.
Watch for traffic from
that direction.
Road ahead makes a
sharp turn in the
direction of the arrow
(right). Slow down,
keep right and do not
pass.
There is a winding
road ahead. Drive
slowly and carefully
and do not pass.
Pedestrian Crossing.
You are near an area
where a large number of
pedestrians cross the
street. Slow down and
watch for people crossing the street on foot.
CLEARANCE
Warns of a traffic
control signal ahead.
Slow down on wet
road. Do not suddenly
turn, speed up, or
stop.
The divided highway
on which you are
traveling ends ahead.
Be careful as you
approach the point
where two-way traffic
begins again.
Height of underpass
from road surface is
shown. Do not try to
enter if your load is
higher than the figure
shown on the sign.
Advises that you are
approaching a section
of highway where the
opposing flows of
traffic are separated
by a median island.
You should drive in the
right-hand lane and
expect oncoming traffic
in the left-hand lane.
5-6
Crossroad ahead.
Slow down, look carefully in all directions.
You are approaching
a point where other
traffic lanes come
together with the one
you are on. Watch for
traffic from that
direction.
5-7
DIP
LOOSE
GRAVEL
You are near a school.
Slow down, and prepare to stop suddenly
if necessary. Watch for
children.
Gives advance notice
of a reduction in the
number of lanes of
pavement ahead.
WATCH
FOR I C E ON
BRIDGE
Warns of a hazardous
condition on bridge
caused by ice. This
sign will be displayed
continuously during
wintertime periods.
Drivers should slow
down and avoid applying their brakes if icy
conditions exist.
Mounted immediately in
front of an obstruction,
or at short changes in
road alignment.
The surface of the
road is covered with
loose gravel. Go slow
enough to keep complete control of your
vehicle. Do not apply
brakes suddenly or
make sharp turns.
Indicates traffic is permitted to pass on
either side of a traffic
island or an obstruction.
There is a low place in
the road. Slow down in
order to avoid losing
control of your vehicle
or an uncomfortable
jolt.
SOFT
SHOULDER
Use extreme caution
to avoid running off the
paved portion of the
highway, because the
dirt on the side of the
pavement is soft and
may cause you to lose
control of the car.
ROAD
NARROWS
Mounted in front of an
obstruction which is
close to the edge of
the road, such as culverts, or center piers
on divided highways.
Used to indicate the
alignment of the road
as an aid to night
driving.
Slow your speed and
watch for trucks entering or crossing the
highway.
The bridge ahead is
not as wide as the
road. Slow down and
use caution.
The pavement ahead
narrows; reduce speed.
Room for two cars to
pass, but with caution.
HIGHWAY
INTERSECTION
1000 FT
You are approaching a
“T” Intersection and
must turn left or right.
Be prepared to yield
the right-of-way at the
intersection if necessary.
5-8
This sign is used to
mark the ends of the
side rails of narrow
bridges and other
obstructions so that
they may be easily
seen.
The hard-surfaced
pavement changes to
an earth road or lowtype surface. Slow
down.
Two roads cross. Slow
down, look to the right
and left for other traffic, be prepared to
stop.
5-9
There is a significant
drop from the pavement edge to the
shoulder. If you must
leave the pavement–slow down and
steer firmly.
GROOVED
PAVEMENT
AHEAD
The pavement has
been grooved to lessen
the possibility of slippery pavement in wet
weather. Motorcyclists
should use caution.
HILL
You are approaching a
downgrade; all drivers
approach with caution.
It may be necessary to
use a lower gear to
slow your vehicle.
BUMP
There is a sudden high
place in the road
ahead. Slow down in
order to avoid losing
control of your vehicle
or an uncomfortable
jolt.
H
The road ahead
curves sharply. Slow
down, keep right, and
do not pass.
5-10
LANE ENDS
Slow your speed and
watch for persons who
may be disabled or who
may be crossing the
roadway in a wheelchair.
Be prepared for a stop
sign ahead.
RAMP
METERED
WHEN
FLASHING
ROUGH
ROAD
This sign will have yellow lights flashing (top
and bottom) when the
freeway ramp ahead is
metered. The ramp
meter (red or green)
directs motorists when
to enter the freeway.
The road ahead
makes a sharp turn to
the right and then a
sharp turn to the left.
Slow down, keep right
and do not pass.
Slow down, the road
surface ahead is in
poor condition.
5-11
The lane ends ahead.
If you are driving in the
right lane, you should
merge into the left
lane.
C
REGULATORY AND WARNING SIGNS
Regulatory signs tell us what we must do. Drivers are required to obey
them in the same manner as traffic laws. These signs are one way to help
protect your safety.
ONE WAY: If you wish to turn at an
intersection where this sign is
posted, do so only in the direction
indicated by the arrow.
DO NOT PASS: Do not
pass other vehicles.
CENTER
LANE
25
MPH
ADVISORY SPEED SIGN: This sign
gives the highest speed which you
can safely travel around the turn
ahead.
707
SPEED LIMIT: This sign
tells you the maximum
speed (in miles per
hour) you are permitted to travel.
N
BUSES AND
CAR POOLS
ONLY
6AM-9AM
MON-FRI
HIGH OCCUPANCY VEHICLE (HOV)
PREFERENTIAL LANE: Buses and
vehicles used for carpools may use
this lane only between the hours of
6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through
Friday.
SLOWER
TRAFFIC
KEEP
RIGHT
SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP
RIGHT: Stay in the
right-hand lane if you
are driving slower than
other vehicles on the
roadway.
NO
PASSING
ZONE
DO NOT CROSS YELLOW LINES:
The distance you can see ahead is
so limited that passing another
vehicle is so hazardous that you
may not pass.
5-12
R
RIGHT LANE
MUST
TURN RIGHT
Vehicles driving in the
right lane must turn
right at the next intersection unless the sign
indicates a different
turning point.
EMERGENCY
STOPPING
ONLY
Reminds drivers that
the shoulder of the
road should be used
only by vehicles
required to stop
because of mechanical
breakdown, tire trouble, lack of fuel or
other emergencies.
E
ONLY
This sign indicates that
two lanes of traffic are
permitted to turn left.
The traffic in the left
lane must turn left,
traffic in the other lane
has a choice.
CROSSOVER
LEFT
TURN
SIGNAL
where you may
Lplace
cross over to the other
A green signal will indicate when you may
turn left.
This sign marks a
side of the divided
highway.
ROAD
CLOSED
FORM
ONE
LINE
LEFT
The road ahead is not
open to any traffic.
Look for detour or
other route.
Instructs drivers that
all traffic on the same
roadway must merge
into one lane.
EXIT
55
F
35
M.P.H.
Indicates the speed at
which the exit ramp
from a freeway or
expressway may be
traveled safely.
5-13
O
Indicates the maximum
speeds permitted on
the roadway for daytime and nighttime.
DO NOT
CROSS
Turning left at an intersection where this sign
is posted is prohibited.
Making a U Turn at an
intersection where this
sign is posted is prohibited.
DOUBLE
If you see this sign
facing you, you are
driving the wrong way
on a one-way street,
and you are directly
opposing the flow of
traffic.
DO NOT
ENTER
Trucks are prohibited
from using or entering
the street or roadway
where this sign is displayed.
Drive to the right of
this sign. This sign is
used in advance of
islands and medians.
RESERVED
PARKING
The road or street
ahead is for one-way
traffic traveling in the
opposite direction. You
must not drive into it in
the direction you are
going.
WHITE LINE
Driver should not
change lanes or turn
across the double
white lines.
LEFT
LANE
FOR
PASSING
ONLY
PROTECTED
LEFT ON
GREEN ARROW
Oncoming traffic must
stop for vehicles turning at an intersection.
Vehicles turning at a
protected light should
use caution.
On highways with
more than one lane
with vehicles traveling
in the same direction
and this sign is present, slower traffic
should travel in a lane
other than the farthest
left lane. The farthest
left lane is for “passing
vehicles only”.
Do not park, stop, or stand your vehicle in a parking space reserved for disabled persons unless your vehicle has a disabled license plate or windshield
identification card.
5-14
5-15
CENTER
LANE
ONLY
The center lane of a
highway is reserved
for the exclusive use of
vehicles turning left in
either direction and not
used for passing or
overtaking. The only
time a vehicle should
enter the center lane is
at a point where the
vehicle will have time
to slow down or stop in
order to make a safe
left turn maneuver. The
center lane should
never be used for
passing or as a
through traffic lane.
GUIDE SIGNS
Guide signs are especially helpful when you are not in your home area. They
tell you what road you are on and how to get where you wish to go. They furnish information which makes the trip more pleasant and interesting. This
page shows only a few examples of many such guide signs.
TROY 35
UTICA 15
ALBANY 30
2
TRAVEL INFORMATION: This sign
LITTER BARREL: The only place
not only tells you which way to go
but also how far you must travel.
where you may lawfully throw your
litter on the highway is in a litter
barrel. This sign advises that such
a barrel is one mile ahead. Litter
barrels are also found at all rest
and picnic areas.
L
235
30
TEXAS
INTERSTATE
TEXAS
TEXAS
ROUTE MARKER
2
LITTER
BARREL
1 M IL E
TEXAS
ROUTE MARKER
LOOP
270
A short state highway
in a city or urban area.
These signs tell you what road you are on. Plan your trip and know which
roads you wish to take.
5-16
WEST
50
79
INTERSTATE
INTERSTATE
TEXAS
TEXAS
La Salle
SOUTH
Daly
E
These signs are usually
mounted above the roadway. The arrows indicate the
lane or lanes to be used to
follow a particular highway
route.
EXIT ONLY
The lane that has this sign above it
exits ahead.
22
MILE
4
4
BUSINESS
Indicates an officially designated
highway that branches off the
regularly numbered highway and
goes through the business portion
of the city.
MILEPOSTS PROVIDE A MEANS
OF IDENTIFYING THE LOCATION
OF CRASHES, BREAKDOWNS,
OR OTHER EMERGENCIES.
Erected every mile on Interstate
highway starting at state line.
Lane-use control signals are special overhead signals
that indicate whether a motorist should or should not
drive in a specific lane. If a red X appears above a
lane, a driver should not drive in that lane. A steady
yellow X means that a driver should prepare to vacate,
in a safe manner, the lane over which the signal is
located because a lane control change is being made.
A steady downward green arrow means that a driver
is permitted to drive in the lane over which the arrow
signal is located. These type signals can be used on
streets, highways, or freeways.
5-17
RAILROAD WARNING SIGNS
Railroad Crossing. You are within
a few hundred feet of a railroad
crossing. You should slow down
and be prepared to stop. If you see
a train coming—STOP—never try
to beat it.
C
S
O
R
G
IN
AD
RO
AD
RO
TRACKS
S
IL
RA
S
IL
RA
S
O
R
C
3
G
IN
Railroad Crossbuck signs are
posted at every railroad, highway,
road, or street grade crossing and
show the location. If more than
one track is to be crossed, it will
show the number of tracks. Always
slow, look, listen, and be prepared
to yield the right-of-way to an
approaching train.
At railroad crossings, stop within 15 to 50 feet of the nearest rail when:
1. You are directed by a flag person.
2. There are flashing red lights or gongs sounding.
3. There is any warning device telling you that a train is coming.
(See pages 4-4 and 4-5 for Important Information Concerning Railroad
Crossings.)
(Also, truck and bus drivers should refer to page 15-18.)
PAVEMENT MARKINGS
Pavement markings help you just like signs and signals. They are used to
warn and direct drivers and to regulate traffic.
TWO-LANE RURAL ROADWAY
Two-Way Traffic
Keep to the right of the yellow center line. You may cross the broken line
when passing another vehicle or when the right half of the roadway is closed
to traffic. DO NOT CROSS THE LINE IF IT IS NOT SAFE TO DO SO.
S
IL
RA
G
IN
AD
RO
C
S
O
R
5-18
Gate and Flashing Light. Stop
when the lights begin to flash
before the gate lowers across your
side of the road. Remain stopped
until the gates are raised and the
lights stop flashing.
THREE LANE ONE-WAY ROADWAYS
On a one-way roadway, when each lane is marked with a broken white line,
you may drive in any lane. When turning from a one-way road be sure to move
into the proper lane well in advance of your turn.
5-19
LEFT TURN LANE
CROSSWALKS
White crosswalk lines are painted
across a road to indicate pedestrian
crossing areas. Pedestrians should
use these areas when crossing the
road. At intersections where stop
lines are missing, you must stop
before the crosswalk when required
to stop by traffic signs or signals or
pedestrians.
LEFT TURN LANE ONLY
The only time a vehicle should enter the center lane is at a point where the
vehicle will have time to slow down or stop in order to make a safe left turn
maneuver. The center lane should never be used for passing or as a through
traffic lane.
MULTI-LANE HIGHWAY
(Four or more lanes)
Do not cross the double yellow line
to pass. Stay in your lane as much
as possible. If you are driving slower, keep in the right-hand lane.
SOLID AND BROKEN LINE
STOP LINES
White stop lines are painted across
pavement lanes at traffic signs or
signals. Where these lines are present, you should stop behind the stop
line.
A solid yellow line on
your side of the road
marks a “no-passing
zone.”
Solid white lines are used for pavement edge lines, shoulder markings, channelizing, transitions and lane use control. Crossing a solid white line should
be avoided if possible. The solid yellow line on the left edge of the roadway
is a guide to drivers that driving to the left of the yellow line is prohibited
because the line is marking the left edge of the roadway. This type of yellow
line can be found on interstate highways.
5-20
5-21
CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE DEVICES
Various traffic control devices are used in construction and maintenance
work areas to direct drivers or pedestrians safely through the work zone and
to provide for the safety of the highway workers.
The most commonly used traffic control devices are signs, barricades,
drums, cones, tubes, flashing arrow panels and flag persons. Orange is the
basic color for these devices.
Crossing is prohibited where there is a pavement marking of double solid
white lines.
Barrels engineered to act as an
impact cushion is a new concept
in reducing the seriousness of
crashes. These barrels are usually installed in front of a solid
obstacle and at an area of high
crash frequency.
If you see this flag, slow down, the
bicycle operator may have impaired
hearing. This sign may also be displayed on vehicles to alert others
that the driver may be hearing
impaired.
5-22
SPECIAL NOTE: Traffic fines are doubled for violations of the law that occur
in construction zones where workers are present.
CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE SIGNS:
Construction and maintenance signs are used to alert drivers of unusual or
potentially dangerous conditions in or near work areas. Most signs in work
areas are diamond shaped. A few signs are rectangular.
SHOULDER
WORK
STREET
CLOSED
1000 FT
DETOUR
1000 FT
ONE LANE
ROAD
1000 FT
NARROW
LANES
AHEAD
ROAD
WORK
1 MILE
500
FEET
ROAD
CONSTRUCTION
AHEAD
5-23
DETOUR
DETOUR
CHANNELIZING DEVICES:
Barricades, vertical panels, drums, cones and tubes are the most commonly used devices to alert drivers of unusual or potentially dangerous conditions
in highway and street work areas and to guide drivers safely through the
work zone. At night they are often equipped with flashing or steady burn
lights.
BARRICADE
PANEL
CONE
ROAD
CLOSED
DETOUR
T
TUBE
FLASHING ARROW PANELS:
Large flashing or sequencing arrow panels may be used in work zones both
day and night to guide drivers into certain traffic lanes and to inform them that
part of the road or street ahead of them is closed.
flag persons:
Flag persons are often provided in highway and street work zones to stop,
slow or guide traffic safely through the area. Flag persons wear orange
vests, shirts or jackets and use stop/slow paddles or red flags to direct traffic through work zones.
STOP
OR
DRUM
BARRICADE
The diagonal stripes on the barricade or vertical panel guide the driver
towards the direction to which the traffic is to pass. Stripes sloping downward
to the right mean the driver should bear to the right. Conversely, stripes sloping downward to the left mean bear to the left.
TRAFFIC STOP
SLOW
OR
PASS TO THE LEFT
PASS TO THE RIGHT
5-24
TRAFFIC PROCEED
5-25
1. Color Orange = Work Zone = Danger
a. Traffic control devices are used to direct motorists and pedestrians
safely through work zones and to protect workers.
b. Be prepared to slow or stop.
c. Be prepared to change lanes.
d. Be prepared for the unexpected.
2. Advance Warning Signs
a. Pay attention.
b. Follow instructions.
c. Reduce speed to at least the posted construction zone speed signs.
3. Lane Change Signs.
a. Slow and prepare to change lanes when safe.
b. Be prepared for drivers who wait until the last second to move to the
open lane.
c. Maintain reduced speed until you clear the construction area. There
should be a sign indicating that you are leaving the construction area.
d. Return to normal driving lane only after checking traffic behind you.
4. Work Areas
a. Further reduce speed as you approach workers and equipment.
b. Be prepared for unexpected movements of workers and equipment.
5. Flag persons
a. Flag persons are used in cases of extreme hazard.
b. Flag persons instructions must be obeyed.
c. When instructed to stop, do so in your lane - do not veer right or left.
d. Do not attempt to go forward until the flag person instructs you to do so.
e. Proceed with caution - expect the unexpected.
f. Always be on the lookout for oncoming vehicles in your lane of traffic.
5-26
CHAPTER 6
SIGNALING, PASSING, AND
TURNING
SIGNALING
A good driver always lets others know if he is going to turn or stop. Your signal helps others plan ahead. A surprise move often results in crashes. Be
alert–watch and give signals.
ALWAYS SIGNAL when you are going to:
1. Change lanes.
2. Make a turn.
3. Pull away from a parking space which is parallel to the curb.
4. Slow down or stop.
HOW TO SIGNAL
You may use either signal lights or hand and arm signals. Make sure your
signals can be easily seen by others. Extend your hand and arm well out of
the car window and signal in plenty of time.
During non-daylight hours, hand and arm signals are usually not visible
except in well-lighted areas. Be sure your signal lights are working properly.
When signaling a stop, pump your brakes a few times to attract attention.
Left Turn
Right Turn
6-1
Stop or Slow Down
Signal continuously for at least 100 feet before you turn or stop. Be sure to
turn off your signal light after you use it. Your unintended signal still means
“turn” to other drivers.
KEEP TO THE RIGHT
PASSING
NEVER drive on the left half of the road in the following instances:
1. When pavement markings prohibit driving on the left (a “No Passing
Zone”).
right lane before an approaching car comes within 200 feet of you.
3. Tap your horn when necessary to alert the driver ahead.
4. Pass on the left and do not return to the right lane until safely clear of
overtaken vehicle. Wait until you can see the car you have just passed in
your rearview mirror before returning to right lane.
5. Signal right turn to return to right lane. Be sure to turn your signal off after
you have completed the lane change.
2. When there are two or more traffic lanes in each direction.
3. When within 100 feet (about five car lengths) of or crossing an intersection or railroad crossing.
4. When on a hill, curve, or any other place where vision is limited.
5. When within 100 feet of a bridge, viaduct, or tunnel.
You should always keep to the right half of the road EXCEPT:
1. When passing another vehicle on a two or three-lane street.
2. When driving on a one-way street.
3. When the right half of the road is blocked.
BASIC SAFETY RULES WHEN PASSING LEFT OR RIGHT
It is not always safe to pass. You should be patient and wait until the time is
right. Crashes resulting from improper passing can be deadly.
1. Make certain that the way is clear.
2. Give the proper signal before changing lanes.
3. Tap your horn when necessary to avoid surprising the driver ahead.
4. Avoid cutting in too quickly if you must return to your original lane.
HOW TO PASS ON A TWO-LANE ROAD
1. Keep enough distance between you and the car in front of you so you
can see ahead clearly. Check rearview and side mirrors and turn your head
and look back—someone may be passing you. Signal left.
2. Check well ahead for “No Passing Zone” and oncoming cars. Be sure
you have time and space enough to overtake the car ahead and return to the
6-2
PASSING ON THE RIGHT
In Texas and many other states, you may pass on the right only when conditions permit you to do so safely, such as:
1. The road is clear of parked vehicles or other things and is wide enough
for two or more lanes in each direction.
2. You are on a one-way road.
3. You may pass on a paved shoulder when the vehicle you are passing is
slowing or stopped on the main travelled portion of the highway, disabled, or
preparing to make a left turn.
Do not pass on the right by driving off the paved portion of the highway.
6-3
WHEN YOU ARE PASSED
into the proper lane at least within one-half block before you turn, you should
not turn but continue straight ahead.
1. Do not increase your speed.
2. Keep in your lane.
3. When being passed on the left, and lanes are not marked, move to the
right as far as you safely can.
4. Make it as safe and easy as you can for the other driver to pass you.
Blind Spot Driving
Don’t drive in another driver’s “blind spot.” Either pass the other driver or
drop back. When you pass a car, get through the blind spot as quickly as you
can. Approach cautiously, but once you are alongside, speed up and get by
quickly.
Blind Spot
4. Give the proper turn signal at least 100 feet before you make your turn. If
using a hand signal, hold it until you are close enough to the intersection for
others to know what you intend to do. Do not hold the signal while making
the turn—you need both hands on the wheel.
5. Slow down to a reasonable turning speed. Do not use the brake or clutch
while actually turning.
6. Make the turn correctly. This will be easy if you are in the proper lane and
proceeding slowly enough at the time you begin to turn.
7. Finish the turn in the proper lane.
RIGHT TURN - LEFT TURN
How To Make a Right Turn
1. Well ahead of the turning point, signal for a lane change and when it is
safe, move your vehicle to the far right lane.
2. Begin right turn signal, and start slowing down at least 100 feet from the
corner.
3. Look both ways before starting to turn.
Blind Spot
TURNS
Turning a corner appears to be a simple operation. However, much confusion in traffic and many crashes are caused by drivers who do not turn correctly.
Study the diagrams showing the correct method of making right and left turns
on the following pages. There are 7 steps in making a good turn:
1. Make up your mind before you get to the turning point. Never make a “last
minute” turn—it is too dangerous.
2. Look behind and to both sides to see where other vehicles may be before
you change lanes.
3. Move into the proper lane as soon as possible. The faster the traffic is
moving, the sooner you should move into the proper lane. If you cannot get
6-4
4. Keep as close as possible to the right edge of the road. Turn using both
hands on the wheel.
Do not turn
wide like this
3
2
1
6-5
How To Make a Left Turn
1. Well ahead of the turning point, signal for a lane change and when it is
safe, move close to the center lane.
MAKING A LEFT TURN FROM OR INTO A ONE-WAY STREET
2. Begin left turn signal and start slowing down at least 100 feet from the
corner.
3. Look in all directions carefully before starting to turn. Stay to the right of
the centerline as you enter the intersection. Yield the right-of-way to any
vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.
4. Complete the turn to the right of the centerline of the road into which you
are turning by entering the lane in which you will interfere the least with other
traffic.
4
Left From One-Way Into Two-Way Street
1. If you are turning left from a one-way street, turn from the left lane.
3
2
1
OTHER TURNING PROCEDURES
In addition to the turns illustrated watch for pavement markings and signs:
1. Which permit turning right or left from or into two or more traffic lanes.
2. Which give other special turning or lane information.
6-6
Left From Two-Way Into One-Way Street
2. If you are turning left into a one-way street, enter that street in the left
lane.
6-7
CHAPTER 7
STOPPING, STANDING,
OR PARKING
Not all crashes happen while vehicles are being driven. An improperly
parked vehicle may also cause an accident. When you leave your vehicle,
set the parking brake, stop the motor, and remove the key. Check over your
shoulder for any oncoming traffic before opening your car door.
DO NOT PARK, STOP, OR STAND A VEHICLE:
1. On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or
curb of a street.
2. On a sidewalk.
3. Within an intersection.
4. On a crosswalk.
5. Between a safety zone and adjacent curb or within 30 feet of a place on
the curb immediately opposite the end of a safety zone.
6. Alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction when stopping, standing, or parking would obstruct traffic.
7. Upon a bridge or other elevated structure upon a highway or within a
highway tunnel.
8. On any railroad track.
9. At any place where an official sign prohibits stopping.
DO NOT PARK OR STAND A VEHICLE (whether occupied or not): (Temporarily
stopping to comply with signs, signals, etc., is not considered parking or
standing.)
1. In front of a public or private driveway.
7-1
2. Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
3. Within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection.
4. Within 30 feet upon the approach to any flashing signal, stop sign, yield
sign, or other traffic control signal located at the side of a roadway.
Additionally, certain municipalities also prohibit stopping or standing in a disabled parking space unless bearing a disabled parking windshield identification card or disabled license plate.
5. Within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station and on the side
of a street opposite the entrance to any fire station within 75 feet of said
entrance.
DO NOT PARK A VEHICLE (whether occupied or not) within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing.
PARKING, STOPPING, OR STANDING ON A HIGHWAY OUTSIDE AN URBAN
AREA: Never park or leave your vehicle standing on the paved part of any
highway outside of a business or residential district when you can park off
the roadway. If you cannot park off the road:
1. Leave plenty of room for others to pass.
2. Be sure that your vehicle can be seen for at least 200 feet from each
direction.
3. If at night, use your parking lights or leave your headlights on dim.
4. A person may stop, stand, or park a bicycle on a sidewalk if the bicycle
does not impede the normal and reasonable movement of pedestrian or
other traffic on the sidewalk.
DISABLED PARKING:
State law provides that it is a violation (Class C misdemeanor - up to $500
fine) for a person to park, stand, or stop a vehicle in a disabled person parking space. The law specifically states:
1. You may not park in a disabled parking space unless the vehicle has a
disabled license plate or state issued removable windshield identification
card;
2. You may not use a disabled parking windshield identification card unless
transporting the disabled person to whom it was issued;
3. You may not lend your windshield identification card to someone else;
4. You may not block an access or curb ramp.
7-2
Do not park in striped areas adjacent to handicap parking spaces or in a
striped area in front of an entrance to a business adjacent to a disabled parking space. Striped areas are for wheelchair lifts.
UNATTENDED MOTOR VEHICLE:
It is unlawful for any person in charge of a motor vehicle to permit it to stand
unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing
the key from the ignition, and effectively setting the brake, and when standing on any grade, without turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the
roadway.
7-3
1
PARALLEL PARKING
Choose a space large enough for your car. Signal, stop even with front car
about two feet out from it.
2
PARKING ON HILLS
Turn wheels to curb
Turn back of wheels
to curb
Turn wheels to right
LEAVING A PARKING SPACE
Exercise care when backing up. Children often play between parked cars.
LOOK BACK BEFORE AND WHILE BACKING
Make sure you will not interfere with oncoming traffic, then turn your front
wheels all the way to the right and back slowly toward the curb.
3
When your front seat is opposite the rear bumper of the car ahead, quickly
turn your steering wheel all the way to the left. Back slowly to the car behind
without touching it. You should be about six inches from the curb. Do not park
more than 18 inches from the curb or edge of roadway.
SPECIAL NOTE: On a roadway allowing two-way traffic, the driver must
park with the vehicle’s right-hand wheels within 18 inches of the righthand
curb or edge of roadway.
4
Watch for children in residential areas
COASTING
It is unlawful to coast on a downgrade with the gears or transmission in neutral.
Straighten your front wheels and pull into the final parking position. Center
car in space.
7-4
7-5
CHAPTER 8
SPEED AND SPEED LIMITS
You must always obey the maximum and the minimum speed limits.
SPEED
Generally you should drive at the same speed as the main stream of traffic.
You should always be aware of how fast you are traveling. You must obey
speed limits, but a good driver does even more.
1. A Good Driver—always keeps a safe distance from the car in front of him.
The faster you go the greater the distance you should keep from the car
ahead of you. A good rule is to stay at least two (2) seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you. Example: When the vehicle ahead of you passes a fixed
object and you reach this same fixed object in less than two (2) seconds, you
are following too close.
APPROXIMATE STOPPING DISTANCES
It takes the average person 1-1/2 seconds to think, react and apply the
brakes. The following table shows how far you travel in that 1-1/2 seconds, plus how many feet you travel while skidding to stop.
Going 20
44 63 Feet To Stop
19
Going 30
66 43 109 Feet To Stop
Going 40
88
Going 50
110
Going 60
132
Going 70
154
76 164 Feet To Stop
119 229 Feet To Stop
171 303 Feet To Stop
387 Feet To Stop
233
AND THIS IS WITH GOOD BRAKES AND TIRES ON DRY, LEVEL PAVEMENT
8-1
2. A Good Driver—knows when he should slow down.
Daytime Nighttime
(MPH)
(MPH)
• Slow down when the road is wet (rain, snow, sleet). Many drivers find
out too late what a little rain can do. Roads become slippery when wet,
making your car harder to control. The only wise thing to do is slow
down. Make sure you have complete control of the situation at all times.
URBAN DISTRICT
• Slow down when your vision is limited. You should always be able to
stop within the distance that you can see ahead of your car. In darkness
or bad weather, do not over-drive your range of vision.
COUNTY ROADS adjacent to a public beach (if
declared by the commissioners court of the
county)
15
15
Passenger cars, motorcycles, light truck, passenger
car or light truck towing a trailer or semi-trailer,
truck or truck-tractor, truck or truck-tractor towing a
trailer or semi-trailer, buses, school activity bus
School buses that have passed a commercial
vehicle inspection
70
65
60
55
Passenger cars, motorcycles, light truck, passenger
car or light truck towing a trailer or semi-trailer,
buses, school activity bus
School buses that have passed a commercial
vehicle inspection
70
65
60
60
Trucks or truck-tractor, trucks or truck-tractor towing
a trailer or semi-trailer
60
55
Passenger cars, motorcycles, light truck, passenger
car or light truck towing a trailer or semi-trailer, truck
or truck-tractor, truck or truck-tractor towing a trailer
or semi-trailer, buses, school activity bus
60
55
50
50
• Slow down when road is crowded.
3. A Good Driver—always adjusts his speed according to his own physical
condition and the condition of his vehicle. If you are tired or not feeling
well–don’t drive. Never force yourself to drive.
SPEED LIMITS
All drivers are required to obey posted maximum and minimum speed limits.
These limits are designed to provide for the orderly flow of traffic under normal driving conditions. During periods of heavy traffic, inclement weather,
low visibility, or other poor driving conditions, speed must be adjusted so that
accidents will be avoided. The following chart shows the maximum speed
limits for all vehicles under different conditions. Drivers must be aware that
cities and counties have the authority to change these limits.
ALLEY
30
15
15
15
BEACHES
HIGHWAY NUMBERED BY THIS STATE OR THE
UNITED STATES OUTSIDE AN URBAN DISTRICT
FARM TO MARKET AND RANCH TO MARKET ROADS
FARM TO MARKET AND RANCH TO MARKET ROADS
HIGHWAY NOT NUMBERED BY THIS STATE OR THE
UNITED STATES AND OUTSIDE AN URBAN DISTRICT
School buses that have not passed a commercial
vehicle inspection or are traveling on a highway not
numbered by the United States or this state
8-2
30
8-3
15
In this chapter, “Light truck” means a truck with a manufacturer’s rated carrying capacity of not more than 2,000 pounds, including a pick-up truck,
panel delivery truck, and carry-all truck.
In this chapter, “Urban district” means the territory adjacent to and including a highway, if the territory is improved with structures that are used for
business, industry, or dwelling houses and are located at intervals of less
than 100 feet for a distance of at least one-quarter mile on either side of the
highway.
After meeting certain requirements, the Texas Transportation Commission
has been given the authority to raise the daytime speed limit to 75 miles per
hour on parts of the state highway system if the highway is located in a county with a population density of less than 15 persons per square mile AND if
the Commission determines that speed is a reasonable and safe speed for
that part of the highway system. This increased speed limit does NOT apply
to: trucks, other than light trucks and light trucks pulling a trailer; and truck
tractors, trailers, and semi-trailers.
The Texas Transportation Commission also may establish a speed limit of 80
miles per hour in daytime on a part of Interstate Highway 10 or Interstate 20
in Crockett, Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kerr, Kimble, Pecos, Reeves,
Sutton, or Ward County if the Commission determines that 80 miles per hour
daytime is a reasonable and safe speed for that part of the highway system.
This increased speed limit does NOT apply to: trucks, other than light trucks
and light trucks pulling a trailer; and truck tractors, trailers, and semi-trailers.
After meeting certain requirements, the Texas Transportation Commission
has been given the authority to raise the speed limit to not more than 85
miles per hour on a highway segment of the Trans-Texas Corridor designated by Chapter 227, Transportation Code, if the Commission determines that
speed is a reasonable and safe speed for that part of the Trans-Texas
Corridor.
8-4
CHAPTER 9
SOME SPECIAL DRIVING
SITUATIONS
Never drive when you become sleepy. It is much more dangerous to drive
during the night than during the day. We do not see as well as we do during
daylight. When taking a trip, do your driving during the daylight hours—itʼs
safer.
HEADLIGHTS
When driving at night slow down. Be sure you can stop within the distance
lighted by your headlights.
You should lower (dim) your headlights when you are:
1. Within 500 feet of an approaching vehicle.
2. When following closely (within 300 feet) behind another vehicle.
3. When driving on lighted roads.
4. When driving in fog, heavy rain, sleet, snow, or dust.
If you must park on an unlighted highway at night, leave your parking lights
or lower beam headlights on.
• You must use your headlights beginning one-half hour after sunset and
ending one-half hour before sunrise, or any other time when persons or
vehicles cannot be seen clearly for at least 1,000 feet.
• Avoid looking directly into the headlights of approaching vehicles. You
should shift your eyes down to the lower right side of your traffic lane.
• Turn signals flashing on one side only should not be used on parked or
disabled vehicles.
9-1
FREEWAY DRIVING
Within the past few years, many thousands of miles of super highways have
been built. Depending on where you are they are known as freeways, toll
roads, throughways, turnpikes, and expressways. These roads are designed
for maximum safety, but you must know how to use them properly. In Texas,
a freeway is defined as “A divided arterial highway with full control of access
and with no crossings at grade”.
Before you use a freeway
Plan your trip in advance so that you know your entrance, direction, and exit.
Make sure that you and your car are in good condition. If you cannot or do
not wish to drive at or above the minimum speed limit, do not use the freeway.
ENTERING THE FREEWAY
1. You must yield the right-of-way to vehicles already on the freeway.
2. Enter the speed change lane, stay to the right, signal left, and when the
way is clear increase your speed so you can merge with the flow of traffic.
DRIVING THE FREEWAY
CHOOSING THE PROPER LANE—Look twice before changing speed or lanes
and always signal.
• Use right-hand lane:
If you wish to drive at the minimum speed limit or below the normal flow of
traffic.
• Using the middle or left-hand lane:
1. Use the middle or left-hand lane if you are traveling faster than other traffic.
2. If you plan to leave the freeway soon, change to the exit lane as soon as
possible.
56
Metropolis
Utopia
• Observe specific instructions
indicating in which lane
you should drive.
24
Newport
US
EXIT 1 MILE
ONCE YOU HAVE CHOSEN YOUR LANE—
• Stay in the middle of your lane.
• Stay in your lane—do not weave in and out of traffic.
Speed up
when entering
the freeway
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• Maintain a constant speed. Keep pace with the traffic. Do not speed up and
slow down unnecessarily.
• Stay at least 2 seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you. In bad weather
increase the time to at least 4 seconds. Watch the cars ahead of you. Be
ready if one of them should stop suddenly.
9-3
• Adjust your speed to allow others to enter the freeway safely.
VEHICLE BREAKDOWN
• Good driving practices indicate that vehicles in any lane, except the right
lane used for slower traffic, should be prepared to move to another lane to
allow faster traffic to pass.
• If you canʼt get the car off the pavement, get everyone out of the car and
off the road. Portable warning devices should be used to warn oncoming traffic.
• Move into the proper lane well in advance of the exit. The greater the traffic the earlier you should move into the proper lane. Exit signs are usually
placed at least 1000 yards ahead of the exit turn-off.
• Turn on your emergency warning lights. If you do not have warning lights,
use your taillights. At night, besides your taillights, turn your inside lights on.
LEAVING THE FREEWAY
• Slow down on the speed change lane or exit ramp. While exiting slow
down even more, so that by the time you are off the freeway you are going
within the slower speed limit. Watch your speedometer until you become
used to the slower speed.
FIGHT FREEWAY HYPNOSIS
• A condition of drowsiness or unawareness can be brought about by
reduced activity and steady sounds of wind, engine, and tire hum. This is
known as freeway hypnosis. All drivers should be aware of its danger and of
the methods for fighting it.
• STOP OFTEN. Even if you are feeling well you should stop at least every two
hours or every 100 miles. Get out of your car and walk around. Allow your
muscles to relax.
• DO NOT DRIVE MORE THAN EIGHT HOURS PER DAY.
• KEEP SHIFTING YOUR EYES. Look at different objects—near and far, left
and right. Read the road signs as you approach them. Check your rearview
mirror.
SOME EXTRA FREEWAY TIPS
1. Keep a window open so that there is always fresh air in your car to help
keep you alert and awake.
2. On bright days wear good sunglasses. Never wear sunglasses at night.
• Move your car off the pavement to the side of the road. A car with a flat or
blowout can be driven slowly off the road.
• Tie a white cloth to your radio antenna, door handle, or some other place
where it may be easily seen. If you do not have a white cloth, raise your
hood.
CONTROLLING YOUR CAR IN SOME SPECIAL SITUATIONS
There is one basic rule that applies in all driving situations, and especially in
emergency situations—think before you act.
Steering out of a skid—An automobile skids when its tires lose their grip on
the road surface. If your car starts to skid:
• DONʼT JAM ON THE BRAKES. Take your foot off the gas pedal (accelerator).
• TURN YOUR STEERING WHEEL IN THE DIRECTION OF THE SKID. As
you recover control, gently straighten the wheels.
• You can avoid a skid if you slow down when road and weather conditions
are poor. Also check your tires—poor tires are dangerous.
Steering out of
a skid
3. Stay out of another driverʼs blind spot—traveling in a position where the
driver ahead of you cannot see your vehicle can be dangerous. Either stay
behind or go around. Do not follow to the side.
4. Avoid using a cell phone while driving, as use may cause distraction and
driver inattention. If you must use a cell phone, safely pull off the road or use
a hands-free headset.
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9-5
Turn steering wheel
in direction of skid
Brake failure—When brakes fail donʼt panic. Remember your parking brake
and shift to a lower gear. Apply your parking brake cautiously so that you do
not lock the brakes and throw your car into a skid.
Running off the pavement—If you run off the pavement:
• Donʼt hit the brakes suddenly and hard. Grip the steering wheel tightly and
take your foot off the gas pedal.
• Use your brakes carefully and donʼt try to swing back onto the pavement.
Wait until your speed is reduced, check traffic behind you, then carefully
drive back onto the pavement.
Flat tire or blowout—Check the air pressure in your tires frequently. Check
the pressure when the tires are cool.
If you should have a flat or blowout:
• Do not “slam” on the brakes.
• Take your foot off the gas and gently apply the brakes.
• Steer straight ahead to a stop.
Driving down a steep hill—Use a low gear to help slow your vehicle down.
Never coast in neutral or with your foot on the clutch.
WINTER DRIVING
Most drivers realize that winter creates additional hazards for automobiles,
but many of them donʼt know what to do about it. Here are a few simple precautions which you should follow:
1. Equip your vehicle with chains or snow tires. Chains are by far the most
effective, and they should be used where ice and snow remain on the roadway. One word of caution...neither chains nor snow tires will permit you to
drive on slick pavement at normal speeds, so donʼt let yourself get a false
feeling of security
2. Maintain a safe interval. You must increase the distance from the vehicle ahead of you according to the conditions of the pavement. Many needless rear-end collisions occur on icy streets because drivers forget to leave
stopping space. Snow tires will slide on ice or packed snow. To keep safe you
must keep your distance.
3. Reduce speed to correspond with conditions. There is no such thing as a
“safe” speed range at which you may drive on snow or ice. You must be
9-6
extremely cautious until you are able to determine how much traction you
can expect from your tires. Avoid locking of brakes on glazed ice as it will
cause a loss of steering and control. Every city block and every mile of highway may be different, depending upon sun or shade and the surface of the
roadway.
4. Keep windows clear. Remove snow and ice before you drive, even if
youʼre just going to the corner drugstore. Make certain the windshield wipers
and defroster are working properly.
5. Watch for danger spots ahead. There may be ice on bridges when the
rest of the pavement is clear. Snow melts more slowly in shady areas. Take
precautions when approaching turns.
6. Get the feel of the roadway. Start out very slowly. It is both futile and foolish to burn the rubber off your tires by spinning the wheels. Test your brakes
gently after the car is in motion to determine how much traction you will have.
Start slowing down before you come to a turn.
SHARING THE ROAD WITH BICYCLES
Bicycle Rules For Motorists
1. A bicycle is a vehicle and any person riding a bicycle has all of the rights
and responsibilities as a driver of a vehicle.
2. Bicyclists are required to ride as far right in the lane as possible only
when the lane can be safely shared by a car and a bicycle, side by side.
Even then, there are certain conditions that allow a bicyclist to take the full
lane such as:
a. The person is overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in
the same direction.
b. The person is preparing for a left turn at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway.
c. There are unsafe conditions in the roadway such as fixed or moving
objects, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, potholes, or
debris.
d. The lane is of substandard width making it unsafe for a car and a bicycle to safely share the lane side by side. When this is the case, it is best
for the cyclist to take the full lane whether riding single file or two
abreast.
3. Bicyclists are not restricted to the right lane of traffic. One-way, multi9-7
laned streets are one example. Another instance is when the bicyclist is
changing lanes to make a left turn. The bicyclist should follow the same path
any other vehicle would take traveling the same direction.
4. Motorists should merge with bicycle traffic when preparing for a right
hand-turn. Avoid turning directly across the path of bicycle traffic.
Common Motorists Mistakes
1. The most common motorist caused car-bicycle collision is a motorist
turning left in the front of oncoming bicycle traffic. Oncoming bicycle traffic is
often overlooked or its speed misjudged.
2. The second most common motorist caused car-bicycle collision is a
motorist turning right across the path of the bicycle traffic. The motorist
should slow and merge with the bicycle traffic for a safe right-hand turn.
3. The third most common motorist caused car-bicycle collision is a
motorist pulling away from a stop sign and failing to yield right-of-way to bicycle cross traffic. At intersections, right-of-way rules apply equally to motor
vehicles and bicycles.
Are there any special rules for sharing the road with a truck? Yes! Following
are some suggestions from professional truck drivers.
PASSING
When passing a truck, first check to your front and rear, and move into the
passing lane only if it is clear and you are in a legal passing zone. Let the
truck driver know you are passing by blinking your headlights, especially at
night. The driver will make it easier for you by staying to the far side of the
lane.
On a level highway, it takes only three to five seconds longer to pass a truck
than a car. On an upgrade, a truck often loses speed, so it is easier to pass
than a car. On a downgrade, the truckʼs momentum will cause it to go faster,
so you may need to increase your speed. Complete your pass as quickly as
possible and donʼt stay alongside the other vehicle.
If the driver blinks the truckʼs lights after you pass, itʼs a signal that it is clear
to pull back in front of the truck. Be sure to move back only when you can
see the front of the truck in your rear view mirror. After you pass a truck,
maintain your speed.
When a truck passes you, you can help the truck driver by keeping to the far
side of your lane. Youʼll make it easier for the truck driver if you reduce speed
slightly. In any event, donʼt speed up while the truck is passing. After passing, the truck driver should signal to let you know that the truck will be returning to your lane.
When you meet a truck coming from the opposite direction, keep as far as
possible to the side to avoid a sideswipe accident and to reduce the wind turbulence between the two vehicles. Remember turbulence pushes the vehicles apart. It does not pull them together.
FOLLOWING A TRUCK
Wrong Way
Turning right, merge right!
SHARING THE ROAD WITH TRUCKS
Whether youʼre sharing the road with a passenger car, motorcycle, truck,
bus, or other large vehicle, itʼs important for safetyʼs sake to obey traffic laws,
abide by the rules of the road, and drive defensively.
9-8
Tractor-trailers take longer to stop than a car traveling at the same speed.
The average passenger car traveling at 55 mph can stop in approximately
240 feet, which is about three-fourthʼs the length of a football field. A fully
loaded tractor-trailer may take more than 400 feet to come to a complete
stop, well over the length of a football field.
If youʼre following a truck, stay out of its “blind spot” at the rear. Avoid following too closely, and position your vehicle so the truck driver can see your
vehicle in the truckʼs sideview mirror. An excellent rule of thumb for motorists
sharing the road with a tractor-trailer is, “if you canʼt see the truck driver in
his side mirror, he canʼt see you.” Then you will have a good view of the road
ahead, and the truck driver can give you plenty of warning for a stop or a
turn. You will have more time to react and make a safe stop.
9-9
When you follow a truck at night, always dim your headlights. Bright lights
from a vehicle behind will blind the truck driver when they reflect off the
truckʼs large side mirrors.
If you are stopped behind a truck on an upgrade, leave space in case the
truck drifts back slightly when it starts to move. Also, keep to the left in your
lane so the driver can see that youʼre stopped behind the truck.
ROTARY TRAFFIC ISLANDS
Rotary traffic islands are also known as traffic circles or roundabouts. An
operator moving around a rotary traffic island shall drive only to the right of
the island.
RIGHT TURNS
Pay close attention to truck turn signals. Trucks make wide right turns and
sometimes must leave an open space to the right just before the turn. To
avoid a crash, donʼt pass a truck on the right if there is a possibility that it
might make a right turn.
BACKING CRASHES
Never try to cross behind a truck which is preparing to back up. Often, when
a truck driver is preparing to back the truck from a roadway into a loading
area, there is no choice but to temporarily block the roadway. It is here that
some drivers and pedestrians attempt to pass behind the truck rather than
wait the few seconds for the truck to complete its maneuver. In passing close
behind the truck, the driver or pedestrian enters the truckʼs blind spot and a
crash may occur.
MANEUVERABILITY
Trucks are designed to carry many products to and from towns and cities;
they are not designed to be as maneuverable as cars. Trucks have longer
stopping and accelerating distances, a wider turning radius, and weigh more.
On multi-lane highways tractor-trailers stay in the center lane to help the flow
of local traffic on and off the highway. Staying in the middle lane also increases the truck driverʼs options if he or she has to switch lanes in order to avoid
a dangerous situation or a crash. Some common mistakes drivers should
avoid when driving around trucks and buses are:
CENTRAL
ISLAND
• Cutting off a truck or bus in traffic or on the highway to reach your exit
or turn. Cutting into the open space in front of a truck or bus removes the
driverʼs cushion of safety. Trying to beat a truck to a single-lane construction zone represents a particularly dangerous situation. Take a
moment to slow down and exit or pull behind a truck—it will only take you
a few extra seconds.
• Never underestimate the size and speed of an approaching tractortrailer. Because of its large size, a tractor-trailer often appears to be traveling at a slower speed than it is. A substantial number of car-truck collisions take place at intersections because the driver of the car does not
realize how close the truck is or how quickly it is approaching.
9-10
9-11
OBEYING WARNING SIGNS AND BARRICADES
It is a violation to disobey the instructions, signals, warnings, or markings of
a warning sign; or drive around a barricade.
The offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $1 or
more than $200, except that fines double in a construction or maintenance
work zone when workers are present.
The offense is a Class B misdemeanor where a warning sign or barricade has
been placed because water is over any portion of a road, street, or highway.
FLOODS
Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States. Nearly half
of all flood fatalities are vehicle-related.
These are the facts:
• Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing
loss of control and possible stalling.
• Twelve inches of water will float many cars.
• Two feet of rushing water will carry off pick-up trucks, SUVs, and most other
vehicles.
• Water across a road may hide a missing segment of roadbed or a missing
bridge. Roads weaken under floodwater and drivers should proceed cautiously after waters have receded, since the road may collapse under the
vehicleʼs weight.
National Weather Service and Governorʼs Division of Emergency
Management officials also say that if your car or truck stalls in floodwater, the
best advice is get out quickly and move to higher ground. Better yet, when
thereʼs water on the road: Turn Around, Donʼt Drown. Saving your life is as
simple as choosing an alternate route.
9-12
For more information about Turn Around, Donʼt Drown:
www.srh.weather.gov
For more information about FLASH (Federal Alliance for Safe Homes):
www.flash.org
National Weather Service
Southern Region Headquarters
819 Taylor Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
[The above materials from Turn Around, Donʼt Drown, were used with permission from the Southern Regional Headquarters, NOAA, per Paul Yura
([email protected]) and Walt Zaleski ([email protected]), Warning
Coordination Meteorologist Program, Manager NWS, Southern Region
Headquarters, Fort Worth, Texas.]
9-13
CHAPTER 10
HOW ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
AFFECT A PERSON’S ABILITY
TO DRIVE
Millions of people take drugs every day and don’t realize these drugs can affect
their driving. Alcohol, tranquilizers, marijuana—or any other drug—can affect the
mental and physical (psychomotor) skills needed to drive. Even some over-thecounter medicines can affect driving skills.
Different people’s driving skills can be affected differently by the same drug. The
driver’s weight and emotional state, the amount of the drug and when it was
taken—all influence the driver’s ability to size up an emergency situation or to
judge speed or distance.
Taking more than one drug at the same time can be especially dangerous
because each can add to the impact of the other. This is especially true when
one of the drugs is alcohol.
Possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage increases the minimum term of confinement by 6 days for a 1st offense.
It is illegal to possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage in a passenger area of a motor vehicle that is located on a public highway, regardless of
whether the vehicle is being operated or stopped or parked. Conviction of this
offense is punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.
The definition for intoxication includes both alcohol and drugs.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs was a contributing factor in 8% of
crashes. However, alcohol or drugs accounted for 28% of all fatal crashes in the
state. It is the second most common factor for crashes in Texas.
10-1
TEXAS HAS TOUGH ALCOHOL-RELATED LAWS FOR MINORS
from a high school of 475 students, two are likely to be killed or injured in drunk
driving crashes. One could be your best friend. One could be you.
DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED (DWI) - PENALTIES for DRIVING UNDER
THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS:
In Texas a “minor” is someone under 21 years of age. Generally speaking, a
minor may not purchase, attempt to purchase, consume, or even possess an
alcoholic beverage.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a problem that affects all Texans. To make
Texas safer, laws have been enacted to deter people from drinking and driving
or to punish those who choose to drink and drive.
1st DWI OFFENSE (Class B misdemeanor) - Punishable as a fine not to exceed
$2,000.00, confinement in jail for not less than 72 hours nor more than 180 days,
and a driver license (or driving privilege) suspension of not less than 90 days nor
more than 365 days. The court may probate the jail sentence and waive the driver license suspension on the first offense ONLY. Possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage increases the minimum term of confinement by 3
days to 6 days for a 1st offense.
2nd DWI OFFENSE (Class A misdemeanor) - Punishable by a fine not to exceed
$4,000.00, confinement in jail for not less than 30 days nor more than 1 year, and
a driver license (or driving privilege) suspension of not less than 180 days nor
more than 2 years.
ZERO TOLERANCE FOR MINORS
Since a minor should not even possess an alcoholic beverage, the 1997 Texas
Legislature adopted Senate Bill 35, which established ZERO TOLERANCE for
minors who commit offenses under the non-driving alcohol-related laws as well
as for minors who drive under the influence.
ZERO TOLERANCE means just that. Even if a minor is not intoxicated as defined
under the DWI statute, if the minor has ANY detectable amount of alcohol in his
system while he or she is operating a motor vehicle in a public place, as far as
the law is concerned, the minor driver has committed the criminal offense of
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by a Minor (DUI by a Minor).
3rd (or subsequent) DWI OFFENSE (Felony of the Third Degree) - Punishable by
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR (DUI BY A
MINOR)
DWI with Child Passenger Under 15 (State Jail Felony) - Punishable by a fine not
than 40 nor more than 60 hours of community service, and the minor’s driver
license may be suspended (or driving privilege denied).
a fine not to exceed $10,000.00, confinement in the penitentiary for not less than
2 years nor more than 10 years, and a driver license (or driving privilege) suspension of not less than 180 days nor more than 2 years.
to exceed $10,000 confinement in jail for not less than 180 days nor more than
2 years.
Intoxication Assault (Felony of the Third Degree) - Punishable by a fine not to
exceed $10,000.00, confinement in the penitentiary for not less than 2 years nor
more than 10 years, and a driver license (or driving privilege) suspension of not
less than 90 days nor more than 1 year.
Intoxication Manslaughter (Felony of the Second Degree) - Punishable by a fine
not to exceed $10,000.00, confinement in the penitentiary for not less than 2
years nor more than 20 years, and a driver license (or driving privilege) suspension of not less than 180 days nor more than 2 years.
THE NUMBER ONE KILLER
The number one killer of teenagers is driving under the influence. More than
4,000 teens are killed and another 110,000 seriously injured each year in car
crashes involving alcohol. Not all have been drinking, but some are passengers
or innocent targets of people who drink and drive. These statistics mean that
10-2
Any Offense DUI by a Minor (10 years of age or older but less than 17) (“Delinquent
Conduct” under the Family Code) - Punishable by a fine up to $500.00, not less
1st Offense DUI by a Minor (17 years of age or older but less than 21) (Class C
misdemeanor) - Punishable by a fine of up to $500.00, not less than 20 nor more
than 40 hours of community service. Attendance in an Alcohol Awareness
Course is required and, if the minor is under 18, the parent may be required to
attend the course. The minor’s driver license will be suspended for 120 days.
2nd Offense DUI by a Minor (17 years of age or older but less than 21) (Class C
misdemeanor) - Punishable by a fine of up to $500.00, not less than 40 nor more
than 60 hours of community service. The Alcohol Awareness Course may be
required.
3rd Offense DUI by a Minor (17 years of age or older but less than 21) (Class B
misdemeanor) - Punishable by a fine not less than $500.00 or more than
$2,000.00, not less than 40 nor more than 60 hours of community service, and/or
confinement in jail not to exceed 180 days.
The court may not give deferred disposition on the third offense of DUI by a
minor.
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IMPLIED CONSENT LAWS AS THEY APPLY TO MINORS
In Texas, if a person is arrested for an offense arising out of acts alleged to have
been committed while the person was operating a motor vehicle in a public place,
or a watercraft, while intoxicated, or the person is a minor and has ANY
detectable amount of alcohol in their system while operating a motor vehicle in a
public place, the person is deemed to have consented to submit to the taking of
one or more specimens of the person’s breath or blood for analysis to determine
the alcohol concentration or the presence in the person’s body of a controlled
substance, drug, dangerous drug, or other substance. Refusal to provide a specimen results in the suspension of the driving privilege and any driver license. The
suspension for a minor who refuses is 180 days for the first refusal, and 2 years
for subsequent refusals. A minor who gives a specimen which confirms that he
or she has been operating a motor vehicle in a public place with ANY detectable
amount of alcohol in their system (but which is below the 0.08% BAC legal limit
of intoxication) will have their driver license suspended (or their driving privilege
will be denied if unlicensed) for 60 days for the first offense, for 120 days for the
second offense, and for 180 days for the third and subsequent offenses. The
minor may request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge to contest the
suspension.
DWI/DUI ARRESTS ARE COSTLY—In terms of monetary costs, penalties, and
inconveniences. It can also be a humiliating experience. It is not worth the risk of
being arrested. Some fines can be up to $10,000, not including the cost of a bail
bondsman, an attorney, or other court-required costs.
OTHER SANCTIONS FOR NON-DRIVING ALCOHOL-RELATED
OFFENSES BY MINORS
Texas’ ZERO TOLERANCE LAW also provides sanctions for minors who commit
offenses under the non-driving alcohol-related offenses. Generally speaking, a
minor may not purchase, attempt to purchase, falsely state they are 21 years of
age or older or present any document that indicates that they are 21 years of age
or older to a person engaged in the selling or serving of alcoholic beverages,
consume, or possess an alcoholic beverage. The penalty upon conviction of one
of the above non-driving alcohol-related offenses and for Public Intoxication for
a minor is as follows:
1st Non-driving Alcohol-Related Offense by a Minor—Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500.00, 8 to 12 hours of community service, and mandatory attendance of an alcohol awareness course. The minor’s driver license will
be suspended (or his/her privilege denied if not licensed) for 30 days.
2nd Non-driving Alcohol-Related Offense by a Minor—Class C misdemeanor pun-
ishable by a fine up to $500.00, 20 to 40 hours of community service, and may
be required to attend an alcohol awareness course. The minor’s driver license
will be suspended (or his/her driving privilege denied if not licensed) for 60 days.
10-4
3rd Non-driving Alcohol-Related Offense by a Minor (17 years of age or older but
less than 21)—Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine not less than $250.00
or more than $2,000.00, not less than 40 nor more than 60 hours of community
service, and/or confinement in jail not to exceed 180 days. The minor’s driver
license will be suspended or his/her privilege denied for 180 days. Minors are not
eligible for deferred disposition on the third and subsequent convictions.
Beginning September 1, 1999, a minor who is convicted of driving while his/her
license is revoked because of a non-driving alcohol related offense is subject to
the penalties of Driving While License Invalid (see Chapter One for Penalties).
OTHER SANCTIONS FOR NON-DRIVING ALCOHOL-RELATED OFFENSES
A person who purchases an alcoholic beverage for a minor or who furnishes an
alcoholic beverage to a minor or a person who sells a minor an alcoholic beverage can be punished by a fine up to $4,000 and/or confinement in jail for up to
one year.
MARIJUANA
Research has shown that even typical social doses of marijuana can affect concentration, judgment, and the sensory and perceptual skills needed for careful
driving. People who are under marijuana’s influence have impaired sensory and
perceptual abilities.
STIMULANTS
While heavy amphetamine use will keep drivers awake and active for long
stretches of time, it will also make them less coordinated, edgy, and, as one accident study found, four times more likely to be involved in a car crash. Research
shows that typical social amounts of cocaine can produce lapses in attention and
concentration.
Although caffeine can help the drowsy driver stay alert, it can’t make the drunk
driver sober. Studies show that ordinary amounts of caffeine do not improve an
inebriated subject’s driving skills.
TRANQUILIZERS AND OTHER SEDATIVE-HYPNOTICS
The sedative-hypnotic drugs, including barbiturates, are powerful depressants
that calm people down or help them sleep. Sleepy or over-sedated drivers, however, are not good drivers.
10-5
OVER-THE-COUNTER DRUGS
Many over-the-counter drugs produce drowsiness in some people that can affect
their driving. Drivers should read the labels and be especially careful with antihistamines, other cold preparations, or any medicine that relaxes or promotes
sleep.
ANY DRUG
Any drug you take might affect your ability as a driver. If you take more than one
drug, or if you mix drugs (especially tranquilizers or other sedative-hypnotics)
with alcohol, you could be asking for trouble—on the road and off. If you have
doubts about a particular drug or drug mix, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
ALCOHOL
Each year alcohol, a depressant drug that affects coordination, judgment, perception, and emotional state, is responsible for half of all American highway
deaths.
Alcohol increases the depressant effects of tranquilizers and barbiturates.
Mixing these drugs, on or off the road, can be extremely hazardous.
THE ALCOHOL TEST
If a person is arrested for an offense arising out of acts alleged to have been
committed while the person was operating a motor vehicle in a public place, or a
watercraft, while intoxicated or an offense under section 106.041. Alcoholic beverage code, the person is deemed to have consented to submit to the taking of
one or more specimens of the person’s breath or blood for analysis to determine
the alcohol concentration or the presence in the person’s body of a controlled
substance, drug, dangerous drug, or other substance. A person arrested for an
offense described by this subsection may consent to submit to the taking of any
other type specimen to determine the person’s alcohol concentration. Refusal to
give a blood or breath specimen for analysis will result in a driver license suspension of 180 days. If a person submits to giving a blood or breath specimen
and the results show a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or greater, the driver is subject to a driver license suspension of 90-365 days. A person having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more is intoxicated according to the law.
10-6
Offense
DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED DWI—
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS—
PENALTIES
*1st DWI
Fine
0-$2,000.00
and
2nd DWI
0-$4,000.00
and
3rd DWI
or subsequent
0-$10,000.00
and
DWI with Child
Passenger Under
15 yoa
0-$10,000.00
and
0-$10,000.00
and
0-$10,000.00
and
Intoxication
Manslaughter
Intoxication
Assault
Confinement
DL Suspension
30 days-1
year in jail
180 days-2
years
180 days-2
years
Depends on
1st, 2nd or
3rd Offense
72 hours-180
days in jail
2-10 years
in the
penitentiary
2-20 years
penitentiary
2-10 years
90 days-365
days
180 days-2
years
180 days-2
years
*90 days-2
years
* Court may probate jail sentence and waive driver license suspension on first
offense.
WHY IS DRINKING AND DRIVING SO DANGEROUS?
Drinking alcohol and driving is a major cause of serious collisions. In 2001, alcohol was found to be the main cause of 28% of all fatal crashes.
You lose your judgment when you drink or use drugs. It is often the first thing
about you that changes. Loss of judgment, or good sense, affects how you react
to sounds, what you see, and the speed of other vehicles around you.
Good judgment may be as simple as saying, “No!” to a friend who wants to try
racing your new car on a country road. However, if you have been drinking or are
under the influence of drugs, your good judgment may turn into, “Sure, go ahead,
take my new car.” Your ability to reason with your friend has all but disappeared.
Do not give in.
10-7
WHAT IS THE LIMIT?
Some myths about drinking alcohol say that taking cold showers, drinking black
coffee, or exercising will sober a person up. This is not true. Only time, body
weight, the number of drinks, and how much has been eaten, can affect how long
it takes anyone to “sober up.” It takes about one hour for the body to get rid of
each “drink.” If a person has had more than one drink an hour, one hour of
“sobering up” time should be allowed for each extra drink. Better still, someone
who has not been drinking should drive.
EVERY DRIVER
People are different. So are drugs. The circumstances under which people take
drugs are different. So are the effects of drug taking. But safe driving always
requires the same thing: an observant eye, a steady hand, and a clear head.
Drugs and Driving? Why take the risk?
DRINKS
1
2
3
4
5
6
BODY WEIGHT IN POUNDS
100
120
140
160
180
200
220
240
.06
.06
.05
.05
.04
.04
.03
.03
.04
.03
.03
.02
.02
.02
.02
.11
.09
.08
.07
.06
.06
.05
.05
.19
.16
.13
.12
.11
.09
.09
.08
.15
.23
.12
.19
.11
.16
.09
.14
.08
.13
.08
.11
.07
.09
.14
.13
.26
.22
.19
.16
.15
.13
.12
9
.34
.28
.24
.21
.19
.17
.15
10
.30
.38
.25
.31
.21
.27
.19
.23
.17
.21
.15
.19
.06
.10
7
8
.02
.17
.11
KNOW YOUR LEGAL LIMIT
In Texas that means 0.08% of Blood-Alcohol Concentration or any amount which
results in loss of normal use of mental or physical faculties. This is only a guide
and not sufficiently accurate to be considered legal evidence. The figures you
calculate are averages. Individuals may vary somewhat in their personal alcohol
tolerance. Food in the stomach affects the rate of absorption. Medications,
health, and psychological condition are also influential factors. In any case, if
you’ve been drinking at all, be careful!
DRIVERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO TAKE DRUG AND ALCOHOL AWARENESS COURSES TO BECOME BETTER EDUCATED ABOUT THE EFFECTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF
DRUGS AND ALCOHOL. INSURANCE COMPANIES PROVIDE LIABILITY INSURANCE
DISCOUNTS TO DRIVERS WHO COMPLETE THE DRUG AND ALCOHOL AWARENESS
COURSES.
SUREST POLICY IS. . .DON’T DRIVE AFTER DRINKING
INFLUENCED
POSSIBLY
IMPAIRED
LEGALLY
.14
.16
Subtract .015% for each hour of drinking. One drink is 1 oz. of 80 proof liquor at
40%, 12 oz. of beer at 4.5%, or 4 oz. of wine at 12%.
10-8
10-9
CHAPTER 11
MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE INVOLVED
IN A MOTOR VEHICLE CRASH
1. If you are operating a motor vehicle that is involved in a crash resulting in
injury to or death of a person, you must immediately stop your vehicle at the
scene of the crash (or as close as possible to the scene of the crash) without obstructing traffic more than is necessary. If your vehicle is not stopped
at the scene of the crash, you must immediately return to the scene of the
crash. You must remain at the scene of the crash until you have complied
with the following:
a. Give your name and address, the registration number of the vehicle
you were driving, and the name of your motor vehicle liability insurer to
any person injured or the operator or occupant of or person attending a
vehicle involved in the collision;
b. Show your driver license (if requested and available) to any person
injured or the operator or occupant of or person attending a vehicle
involved in the collision; and
c. Provide any person injured in the crash reasonable assistance, including transporting or making arrangement for transporting the person to a
physician or hospital for medical treatment if it is apparent that treatment
is necessary, or if the injured person requests the transportation.
Failure to stop and comply with the above requirements is an offense
punishable by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for up to 5 years;
confinement in the county jail for up to 1 year; a fine not to exceed
$5,000; or both the fine and imprisonment or confinement. (This is for
the 1st offense. Second and subsequent offenses have enhanced penalties.)
2. If you are operating a motor vehicle that is involved in a crash resulting
ONLY in damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by a person, you
must immediately stop your vehicle at the scene of the crash or as close as
possible to the scene of the crash without obstructing traffic more than is
necessary. If your vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the crash, you must
11-1
immediately return to the scene of the crash. You must remain either at the
scene of the crash (or, if the crash occurs on a main lane, ramp, or shoulder,
median, or adjacent area and each vehicle involved can be normally and
safely driven, each operator shall move their vehicle as soon as possible to
a designated crash investigation site, if available, a location on the frontage
road, the nearest suitable cross street, or other suitable location) until you
have complied with the following:
a. Give your name and address, the registration number of the vehicle
you were driving, and the name of your motor vehicle liability insurer to
any person injured or the operator or occupant of or person attending a
vehicle involved in the collision;
b. Show your driver license (if requested and available) to any person
injured or the operator or occupant of or person attending a vehicle
involved in the collision; and
c. Provide any person injured in the crash reasonable assistance, including transporting or making arrangement for transporting the person to a
physician or hospital for medical treatment if it is apparent that treatment
is necessary, or if the injured person requests the transportation.
3. If you are operating a motor vehicle that collides with and damages an
unattended vehicle, you must immediately stop and;
a. Locate the operator or owner of the unattended vehicle and give that
person the name and address of the operator and owner of the vehicle
that struck the unattended vehicle; or
b. Leave in a conspicuous place in (or securely attach in a plainly visible
way to) the unattended vehicle a written notice giving the name and
address of the operator and the owner of the vehicle that struck the unattended vehicle and a statement of the circumstances of the collision.
4. If you are operating a motor vehicle that is involved in a crash resulting
ONLY in damage to a fixture or landscaping legally on or adjacent to a highway, you must:
a. Take reasonable steps to locate the owner (or person in charge) of the
property and to notify them of the crash and of your name and address
and the registration number of the vehicle you were driving;
b. If requested and available, you must show your driver license to the
owner or person in charge of the property; and
c. If the crash is not investigated by a law enforcement officer and the
crash resulted in injury to or the death of a person or damage to the
property of any one person to an apparent extent of $1,000 or more, you
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must make a written report of the crash and file the report with the Texas
Department of Transportation not later than the 10th day after the date
of the crash.
Failure to comply with the above requirements is an offense. If the damage
to ALL vehicles is less than $200, this offense is a Class C misdemeanor and
is punishable by a fine not to exceed $500. If the damage to ALL vehicles is
$200 or more, this offense is a Class B misdemeanor and is punishable by
a fine not to exceed $2,000; confinement in jail for up to 180 days; or both
such fine and confinement. (This is for the 1st offense. Second and subsequent offenses have enhanced penalties).
5. If you are operating a vehicle involved in a crash that results in injury or
death of a person or damage to a vehicle to the extent that it cannot be normally and safely driven, you must immediately by the quickest means of
communication give notice of the crash to the: local police department if the
crash occurred in a municipality; local police department or the sheriff’s office
if the crash occurred not more than 100 feet outside the limits of a municipality; or sheriff’s office or the nearest office of the Texas Department of
Public Safety if occurs elsewhere.
6. When you give your name, address, vehicle registration number, and
insurance information to anyone who was involved in the crash, if requested
and available, you must also show your driver license to the other driver(s)
involved in the crash. Be sure to get the same information from the other driver(s). Record the insurance company name and the policy number exactly
as shown on the driver’s proof-of-insurance card. Similar company names
can cause confusion. If you have the name of the driver’s company, call the
Texas Department of Insurance toll-free at 1-800-252-3439 to get the company address and telephone number.
7. Remember, if you are involved in a crash and the crash is not investigated by a law enforcement officer and the crash resulted in death or damage
to the property of any one person to an apparent extent of $1,000 or more,
you must make a written report of the crash and must file the written report
with the Texas Department of Transportation not later than the 10th day after
the date of the crash. The written report must be on the appropriate form
approved by the Department.
8. If you are involved in a hit-and-run crash, report this to a law enforcement
agency for investigation. The Texas Department of Insurance advises that
uninsured motorist coverage will pay for damage in hit-and-run crashes
reported to a law enforcement agency.
AIDING THE INJURED
When calling a doctor or ambulance, state the place of the crash clearly and
11-3
correctly.
Do not assume that people are not injured simply because they say they are
not. Send for skilled help as quickly as possible. Unskilled handling can do
more harm than good.
Do not move or lift the victim unless it is absolutely necessary. If victims must
be moved get help and try not to change the position in which they were
found.
Stop serious bleeding with thick cloth pads, as clean as possible, applied
with pressure by hand or by bandaging.
Keep the victim comfortable. If it is hot, cool the victim and provide shade as
much as possible. If it is cool, cover the victim with blankets or coats if necessary and if available.
11-4
CHAPTER 12
PEDESTRIAN SAFETY
The driver should always pay special attention to the pedestrian and the
bicyclist. However, there are certain safety rules which pedestrians and bicyclists should follow.
THE PEDESTRIAN (person on foot)
Laws and Other Safety Tips For Pedestrians
• Obey all traffic control signals unless you are otherwise directed by a
pedestrian control signal.
• Do not cross the street between two intersections. It is dangerous to cross
in the middle of the block.
• Use sidewalks when available, and do not walk in the street.
• Walk on the left side of the road if there are no sidewalks. Step off the pavement when a car approaches.
• If you cross a street at any point other than within a crosswalk at an intersection, you (the pedestrian) must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles.
• If you cross a street without using a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing which has been provided, you the pedestrian must yield the
right-of-way to all vehicles.
• When crossing at a crosswalk, keep right if possible.
• Blind, partially blind, or disabled persons may carry a white cane while
walking. Others must not display such a cane on any public street or highway.
• No person may stand in the roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride,
contributions, or business. A person may stand in a roadway to solicit a charitable contribution if authorized to do so by the local authority having
jurisdiction over the roadway.
12-1
• Do not suddenly walk or run into the street in the path of a vehicle. These
sudden actions may make it impossible for the vehicle operator to yield.
• Wait on the curb, not in the street, until the traffic signals change to green
or read “Walk.”
• Always wear white or light colored clothing, or carry a light or reflector
when walking at night.
• Look both ways before crossing the street and before stepping from behind
parked cars.
• Be extra careful when getting off a streetcar or bus.
• Get in and out of cars on the curb side of the road when possible.
• Do not walk on a roadway when you are under the influence or consuming
an alcoholic beverage. Alcohol is a contributing factor to pedestrian traffic
crashes.
• Pedestrians should be aware that local authorities (cities, counties) may
have ordinances that require pedestrians to comply with the directions of an
official traffic control (signals, signs, etc.) and prohibit pedestrians from
crossing a roadway in a business district or a designated highway except in
a crosswalk.
THE MOTORIST
Laws and Safety Tips For Motorists
• If you see a pedestrian crossing or attempting to cross the street, slow
down, use your horn if necessary, and be prepared to stop.
• Be alert to a pedestrian guided by an assistance animal or carrying a white
cane. A driver shall take the necessary precautions to avoid injuring or
endangering a pedestrian crossing or attempting to cross the street. The
driver shall bring the vehicle to a full stop if injury or danger can only be
avoided by that action. Remember, the white cane indicates the person may
be blind, partially blind, or disabled.
• Watch especially for blind persons at bus stops, intersections, business
areas, and near schools for the blind.
12-2
CHAPTER 13
BICYCLE VEHICLE LAW
AND SAFETY
BICYCLE TRAFFIC LAW
1. “Bicycle” means every device propelled by human power upon which
any person may ride, having two tandem wheels either of which is more than
14 inches in diameter.
2. “Vehicle” means a device, in, or by which any person or property is or
may be transported or drawn on a public highway, other than a device used
exclusively on stationary rails or tracks.
3. A bicycle is a vehicle and any person operating a bicycle has the rights
and duties applicable to a driver operating a vehicle, unless it cannot, by its
nature apply to a person operating a bicycle.
4. A bicyclist should always obey all traffic laws, signs, and signals. Never
ride opposite the flow of traffic. Stop at all stop signs and stop at red lights.
5. A person operating a bicycle on a roadway who is moving slower than
the other traffic on the roadway shall ride as near as possible to the right curb
or edge of the roadway unless:
a. The person is overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in
the same direction.
b. The person is preparing for a left turn at an intersection or onto a private road or driveway.
c. There are unsafe conditions in the roadway such as fixed or moving
objects, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, potholes, or
debris.
d. The lane is too narrow for a bicycle and a motor vehicle to safely travel side by side.
13-1
6. A person operating a bicycle on a one-way roadway with two or more
marked traffic lanes may ride as near as possible to the left curb or edge of
the roadway.
7. Persons riding two abreast shall not impede the normal and reasonable
flow of traffic on the roadway. Persons riding two abreast on a laned roadway must ride in a single lane.
8. A person riding a bicycle shall not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat.
9. No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the
number for which it is designed or equipped.
10. No person riding a bicycle shall attach the same or himself to any streetcar or vehicle upon a roadway.
11. No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle, or article which prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.
12. Bicyclists may ride on shoulders.
13. Bicyclists may signal a right-hand turn using either the left arm pointing
up or the right arm pointed horizontally.
14. Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake which will enable the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement.
15. Every bicycle in use at nighttime shall be equipped with the following:
a. A lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible at a distance
of at least 500 feet to the front of the bicycle.
b. A red reflector on the rear of a type approved by the Texas Department
of Public Safety which shall be visible from distances 50 to 300 feet. A
red light on the rear visible from a distance of 500 feet may be used in
addition to the red reflector.
2. When riding on pedestrian facilities, reduce speed and exercise caution.
3. Do not weave in and out of parked cars.
4. Move off the street to stop, park, or make repairs to your bicycle.
5. A bicyclist should select a route according to the person’s own bicycling
skill and experience.
6. It is not required by law, but bicycles should be equipped with a mirror.
WET WEATHER RIDING
The visibility of motorists is greatly decreased. Wear highly visible clothing
when riding on a bicycle. Water makes certain surfaces slick. Be aware of
manhole covers and painted stripes on the road. Water obscures some hazards. Watch for potholes filled with water.
COMMON MOTORIST MISTAKES THAT BICYCLE RIDERS SHOULD
KNOW
1. The most common motorist caused car-bicycle collision is a motorist
turning left in the face of oncoming bicycle traffic. Oncoming bicycle traffic is
often overlooked or its speed misjudged.
2. The second most common motorist caused car-bicycle collision is a
motorist turning right across the path of the bicycle traffic. The motorist
should slow down and merge with the bicycle traffic for a safe right-hand
turn.
3. The third most common motorist caused car-bicycle collision is a
motorist pulling away from a stop sign, failing to yield right-of-way to bicycle
cross traffic. At intersections, right-of-way rules apply equally to motor vehicles and bicycles.
16. Hearing-impaired bicycle riders may display a safety flag. (See page 522.)
BICYCLE SAFETY GUIDELINES
1. Although not required by law, it is highly suggested that bicycle riders
wear an approved bicycle helmet.
13-2
13-3
CHAPTER 14
ADDITIONAL SAFETY TIPS
DEFENSIVE DRIVING
To avoid crashes, the defensive driver should:
1. Stay alert and keep his eyes moving so that he can keep track of what
is happening at all times.
2. Look for trouble spots developing all around him.
3. Have a plan of action if the other driver does the wrong thing.
4. Know that the law requires drivers to protect each other from their own
mistakes.
SAFETY BELTS
The driver and front seat passengers, in a passenger vehicle are required to
use safety belts. The law also requires that children under 5 years of age and
less than 36 inches in height (regardless of age) must be secured in a child
passenger safety seat if occupying a seat in a vehicle that is equipped with
a safety belt. All other children under 17 years of age must be secured in a
safety belt if occupying a seat in a vehicle that is so equipped.
Safety belt means a lap belt and any shoulder straps included as original
equipment on or added to a vehicle.
Safety belt usage requirements now include all pickups, SUVs and trucks.
Safety belts are life belts. They help to keep you:
• From being thrown from your car. (Your chances of being killed are five
times greater if you are thrown from your car.)
• From hitting the dashboard too hard.
• In better control of your car.
14-1
Whatever your reason for not wearing safety belts, it is not reasonable and
may violate the state law.
5. Require all occupants to remain in the vehicle unless other instructions
are given by the officer.
A person commits an offense if the person operates an open bed truck or an
open flatbed truck or draws an open flatbed trailer when a child younger than
18 years of age is occupying the bed of the truck or trailer. (It is a defense to
prosecution that the person was (1) operating or towing the vehicle in a
parade or in an emergency; (2) operating the vehicle to transport farm-workers from one field to another field on a farm-to-market road, ranch-to-market
road, or county road outside a municipality; (3) operating the vehicle on a
beach; (4) operating a vehicle that is the only vehicle owned or operated by
the members of a household; or (5) operating the vehicle in a hayride permitted by the governing body of or a law enforcement agency of each county or municipality in which the hayride will occur.)
FALSE IDENTIFICATION OFFENSE
VEHICLES WITH OPEN BEDS
OPEN BED PASSENGER RESTRICTIONS
A person may not operate a truck, road tractor, or truck tractor when another person occupies a trailer or semi-trailer being drawn by the truck, road
tractor, or truck tractor. (Class B Misdemeanor) (It is a defense to prosecution that the person was (1) operating or towing the vehicle; (A) in a parade
or in an emergency; (B) to transport farm-workers from one field to another
field on a farm-to-market road, ranch-to-market road, or county road outside
a municipality; or (C) in a hayride permitted by the governing body of or a law
enforcement agency of each county or municipality in which the hayride will
occur; (2) the person operating or towing the vehicle did not know that another person occupied the trailer or semi-trailer; or (3) the person occupying the
trailer or semi-trailer was in a part of the trailer or semi-trailer designed for
human habitation.)
WHEN STOPPED BY THE POLICE
It is suggested that the driver should:
1. Move the vehicle safely to the right edge of the roadway or street as
soon as possible and stop.
2. Place the vehicle’s gear selector in a parking position, set the emergency brake, turn the engine off, and activate the hazard warning lights.
3. Remain in the vehicle, lower the driver’s window, and WAIT FOR THE
OFFICER TO ISSUE FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS.
4. FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE OFFICER.
14-2
6. Give the appropriate signals and safely return to the proper lane of traffic when released by the officer.
A person commits an offense if they give a false or fictitious name to a police
officer who has lawfully arrested or detained the person.
ROAD RAGE
Each year road rage or aggressive driving causes hundreds of deaths and
injuries to drivers across the United States. Aggressive driving occurs when
a driver becomes angry or irritated and, consequently, fails to follow the rules
of the road. An aggressive driver will intentionally aggravate or attempt to
aggravate other drivers and in some cases will even cause bodily injury,
property damage, or death to other drivers or individuals.
Listed below are some tips on avoiding road rage.
Plan your trip or schedule in advance and allow extra time in case your vehicle breaks down or in case of traffic congestion due to an accident, road construction, or rush-hour traffic.
When caught in traffic do not get angry. Try to relax, listen to music you enjoy,
take into consideration that some traffic congestion in some cases is temporary and you will soon be on your way.
Should you need to use the horn, tap the horn - do not blow the horn.
Do not confront other drivers or make obscene gestures.
Do not cut into another driver’s lane of traffic. Properly signal your intentions
to change lanes and change lanes when safe to do so. Ensure you turn your
turn signal off after you complete your lane change.
Do not intentionally slow down or slam on your brakes or speed up to keep
someone from passing or from entering your lane of travel.
Do not tailgate - follow at a safe distance.
Always remember to drive friendly and report aggressive driving to the local
authorities.
14-3
NEIGHBORHOOD ELECTRONIC VEHICLES
AND MOTOR ASSISTED SCOOTERS
SPEED REDUCES YOUR FIELD OF VISION
A neighborhood electronic vehicle is defined as any vehicle subject to
Federal Motor Safety Standard 500 (20-25 mph top speed).
A motor assisted scooter is defined as a self-propelled device with:
• At least two wheels in contact with the ground;
• A braking system capable of stopping device under normal operating
conditions;
• A gas or electric motor not exceeding 40cc;
• A deck designed to allow a person to stand or sit while operating the
device; and
• The ability to be propelled by human power alone.
Both vehicles may only be operated on a street or highway for which the
posted speed limit is 35 mph or less.
STATIONARY
Field of vision 180° or more
20 M.P.H
Field reduced to approximately 2/3
40 M.P.H.
Field reduced to approximately 2/5
60 M.P.H.
Field reduced to approximately 1/5
Note: Counties and municipalities may prohibit the operation of either vehicle on any street or highway for safety reasons.
Electronic Personal Assistive Mobility Devices (Segway)
EPAMD (Segway) is defined as a two non-tandem wheeled device designed
for transporting one person that is self-balancing and propelled by an electric propulsion system with an average power of 750 watts or one horsepower.
A person may operate an EPAMD on a residential street, roadway, or public
highway with a speed limit of 30 mph or less only:
• While making a direct crossing of a highway in a marked or unmarked
crosswalk;
• Where no sidewalk is available; or
• When so directed by a traffic control device or by a law enforcement
officer.
14-4
14-5
YOUR KEYS TO SAFE DRIVING
SHARING THE ROADS WITH MOTORCYCLES
WHY BE AWARE OF MOTORCYCLISTS?
Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any vehicle
on the roadway. Approximately one-half of all motorcycle crashes involve
another motor vehicle. Motorcycles are small and may be difficult to see.
Motorcycles have a much smaller profile than other vehicles, which can
make it more difficult to judge the speed and distance of an approaching
motorcycle.
WHY DON’T DRIVERS SEE MOTORCYCLISTS?
There are several reasons why drivers may not see the motorcyclist coming:
Motorists tend to look for other cars, not for motorcyclists.
The profile of a motorcycle is much smaller than the profile of larger vehicles.
This makes an approaching motorcyclist harder to see. Estimating their distance and oncoming speed is also more difficult.
• Good vision – Look with your eyes but see with your mind.
Motorcycle riding requires frequent lane movements to adjust to changing
road conditions.
• Obeying traffic laws
WHAT ARE THE SITUATIONS WHEN CRASHES ARE MOST LIKELY TO
OCCUR?
• Courtesy – Safety comes before right-of-way.
Left turns
• Proper care of your car – Don’t depend on yearly inspections.
• Proper signaling – Failure to signal is dangerous and inconsiderate.
• Physical fitness – Let someone else take the wheel if you are not
physically and mentally alert.
14-6
Crashes are most likely to occur in these high-risk situations:
The most common crash
between cars and motorcyclists is at an intersection when the automobile
driver is making a left turn
in front of a motorcycle.
Over forty percent of all
motorcycle crashes occur
at intersections. Nearly 66
percent of those crashes
were caused by the other
vehicle turning left in front
of the motorcyclist.
14-7
Car’s blind spot
Remember that motorcyclists are often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot or
missed in a quick look due to their smaller size. Always make visual check
for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.
Hazardous road conditions
Remember that road conditions which are minor annoyances to you may
pose a major hazard to motorcyclists. Motorcyclists may change speed or
adjust their position within a lane suddenly in reaction to road and traffic conditions such as potholes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces, pavement seams,
railroad crossings, and grooved pavement.
Weather conditions
When the road surface is wet or icy, motorcyclists’ braking and handling abilities are impaired.
Strong winds
A strong gust of wind can move a
motorcycle across an entire lane if
the rider isn’t prepared for it. Wind
gusts from large trucks in the other
lane can be a real hazard.
Large vehicles
A large vehicle such as a van, bus,
or truck can block a motorcycle
from a driver’s view. The motorcyclist may seem to suddenly appear
from nowhere.
If you drive aware of motorcyclists in these situations, you can help make the
streets and roads safer for everyone.
HOW CAN I DRIVE AWARE?
2. Anticipate a motorcyclist’s maneuvers. Motorcyclists may change positions in the lane to respond to road conditions, weather, or other factors.
Expect and allow room for such actions.
3. Signal your intentions. Always signal your intention before changing
lanes or merging with traffic. This allows the motorcyclist to anticipate traffic
flow and find a safe lane position. Signal your intentions even if you don’t see
cars or motorcycles in front or behind you. Again, be particularly careful when
making left turns across lanes of approaching traffic. Look carefully in all
directions for approaching motorcyclists. Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn
signal on a motorcycle. Motorcycle signals usually are not self canceling and
riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is
going to turn before you proceed.
4. Respect a motorcycle. Allow the motorcyclist a full a lane width. Although
it may seem as though there is enough room in the traffic lane for an automobile and a motorcycle, remember the motorcycle is entitled to their full
lane and they may need the room to maneuver safety. Do not attempt to
share the lane with the motorcycle.
5. Allow plenty of space when following a motorcycle. The slightest contact
can mean a spill and/or injury for the rider. Allow more following distance,
three or four seconds, when following a motorcycle so the motorcyclist will
have enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. In dry conditions
motorcycles can stop more quickly than a car.
The Texas Department of Public Safety’s Motorcycle Operator Training and
Safety Program was created in 1983 by the legislature to improve rider skills
and reduce the number and severity of motorcycle crashes in the state. A
portion of each motorcycle license initial and renewal fee is used to support
the program. The program sets up and monitors motorcycle training classes
throughout the state, and promotes motorcycle safety and awareness
through campaigns, exhibits, and materials. Contact the Motorcycle Safety
Unit at the DPS website www.txdps.state.tx.us/msb or by phone (toll free in
Texas 1-800-292-5787 or residents of the Austin area may call 512-4242021) for information about motorcycle safety, or to locate the nearest training location.
SHARING THE ROAD WITH LIGHT RAIL
1. Look out for motorcyclists. Be aware that although you may not see any
cars, there may be an unnoticed motorcycle. Be careful at intersections, and
always take a second look for a motorcycle before making a turn at an intersection, particularly when making left turns.
In recent years, light rail has been established in many major cities in the
State of Texas. As you travel these areas, you will notice that these trains
move along the streets just like other vehicles. Light rail is very quiet, in fact
the trains are quieter than most buses and cars. So, whether you are riding
light rail, or just walking or driving near the trains or tracks, it’s important to
stay alert and observe the safety rules:
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14-9
Stop
• Do not walk in front of, between or behind the trains.
• Trains can’t start or stop quickly regardless of traffic flow.
• Do not drive, stop or park your vehicle on the tracks. It’s dangerous
and illegal.
Look
• Cross the tracks only at designated pedestrian crossings and only
when it is safe to do so.
• Look both ways before crossing the tracks. Trains travel in both directions.
• Obey all warning signs, flashing lights, signals and crossing gates.
Police will issue tickets to violators.
Listen
• Stay alert. Light rail is quieter than a bus or most cars. You may not
hear it coming.
• Listen for train horns and signal bells.
• Follow instructions from police officer.
And ...
• Never race a train or run in front of a train.
• Never try to beat the train to a crossing. Even with a tie you lose.
• Never drive around crossing gate arms.
• Never put anything on or near the tracks.
TRANSPORTING CARGO AND MATERIALS
rying a load may not have a hole, crack, or other opening through which
loose material can escape. The bed shall be enclosed by side panels and on
the front by a panel or the vehicle cab. The rear shall be enclosed by a tailgate or panel. The load shall be covered and the covering firmly secured at
the front and back, unless the load is completely enclosed by the load-carrying compartment, or does not blow or spill over the top of the load-carrying
compartment. The tailgate of the vehicle shall be securely closed to prevent
spillage during transportation.
State law mandates that no person shall load or transport any loose material on or over the public highways, such as dirt, sand, gravel, wood chips, or
other material (except agricultural products in their natural state), that is
capable of blowing or spilling from a vehicle unless: (1) the bed carrying the
load must be completely enclosed on both sides and on the front and on the
rear by a tailgate, board or panel, and all must be so constructed as to prevent the escape of any part of the load by blowing or spilling; and (2) the top
of the load must be covered with a canvas, tarpaulin, or other covering firmly secured to the front and back to prevent the escape of the load because
of blowing or spilling. This requirement does not apply to any load-carrying
compartment that completely encloses the load or to the transporting of any
load of loose materials that are not blowing or spilling over the top of the
load-carrying compartment.
SAFETY CHAINS
Safety chains are required when certain types of vehicles are towing trailers
in order to prevent the trailer from breaking loose and causing a serious
crash. State law mandates that a person may not operate a passenger car
or light truck while towing a trailer, semi-trailer, or house trailer on a public
highway unless safety chains of a type approved by the Texas Department
of Public Safety are attached in a manner approved by the Department from
a trailer, semi-trailer, or house trailer to the towing vehicle. The requirements
of this law do not apply to a passenger car or light truck towing a trailer or
semi-trailer used for agricultural purposes or to any trailer or semi-trailer, or
house trailer which is operated in compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Regulations.
TOWING
In order to prevent cargo or loose materials from falling or spilling from a car,
truck, trailer, etc. onto the roadway and possibly causing crashes or damage
to the roads, state law requires that drivers comply with certain requirements.
When one vehicle is towing another, the drawbar, chain, rope, cable, or other
connection must not be longer than fifteen (15) feet from one vehicle to
another. (This 15-foot limit does not apply to pole trailers.) When a chain,
rope, or cable is used as a connection, a white flag not less than twelve inches square must be attached to it.
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14-11
State law mandates that a vehicle shall be equipped and maintained to prevent loose material from escaping by blowing or spilling. A vehicle bed car-
CARBON MONOXIDE
The Lever System
Park. Depress lever located near the ignition. Turn key to LOCK and
remove.
The One Hand Button System
Park. Depress button located near the ignition. Turn key to LOCK and
remove.
The Push In System
Park. Turn key to OFF, push in. Turn key to LOCK and remove.
Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Cars produce carbon monoxide
which is a deadly gas. Make sure that you are getting plenty of fresh air.
Don’t:
The Turn and Remove System
Park. Turn key to LOCK and remove.
1992 Automobile Safety Foundation
Leave the motor running in a garage.
Leave the vents open when following closely behind another car.
Leave the motor running and the windows closed while the car is parked.
Drive with a defective muffler or exhaust system.
Operate the heater or air conditioner in a parked car with the windows
closed.
Do: Move a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning to fresh air and give artificial respiration.
STEERING LOCK OPERATION:
Vehicles have various systems used to remove the key from the ignition.
Remember some ignitions will automatically lock the steering wheel if the
key is removed while moving. Here are some common steering wheel lock
systems and a description on how to remove the key.
The Transmission Park System - Park
Shift the transmission into the “park” position. Turn key to LOCK and
remove.
The Two Hand Button System
Park. This system requires two hands. Depress the button below the
steering column. Turn key to LOCK and remove.
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14-13
CHAPTER 15
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
FOR COMMERCIAL
MOTOR VEHICLE
PAPERS, PERMITS
1. Papers. All commercial motor vehicles, truck tractors, trailers, or semitrailers must carry registration papers (receipt for license plates) on the vehicles while operating on a public highway. These papers shall be presented
to an authorized officer on request. These papers will show the weight of the
vehicle empty and how much it is registered to haul.
2. Motor Carriers. A motor carrier that is required to register with the Texas
Department of Transportation must have a Cab Card in each registered vehicle.
3. Shipping Papers. Shipping papers and current Research and Special
Programs Administration (R.S.P.A.) registration may be required to be carried in commercial vehicles that transport hazardous materials.
4. International Fuel Tax Agreement. A photocopy of an interstate carrier’s
original International Fuel Tax Agreement (I.F.T.A.) permit is required to be
carried on qualified commercial vehicles.
5. Special Permits. If you wish to haul a load or move equipment that is
heavier, longer, wider, or higher than the law allows you must obtain a special permit from the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT). A permit
will not be granted if the load can reasonably be dismantled.
EQUIPMENT
1. Flares, Fuses, or Reflectors. No person shall operate a truck, bus, trucktractor, or any motor vehicle towing a house trailer, upon any highway outside the city limits or upon any divided highway at any time from a half hour
15-1
after sunset to a half hour before sunrise unless there shall be carried in such
vehicle the following: at least three flares, or three red burning fuses, or
three red electric lanterns, or three portable red emergency reflectors. During
times when lighted lamps are not required two red flags (12 inches square
with standards to support the flags) may be used in place of flares, lights, or
reflectors. Motor vehicles transporting explosives or any cargo tank truck
used for the transportation of any flammable liquid or compressed flammable gases, or any motor vehicle using compressed gas as a fuel shall not use
flares, fuses, or any signals produced by flame. D.O.T. approved triangular
reflectors can be used in lieu of the above equipment.
The first thing the driver of a truck, bus, truck-tractor, trailer, semi-trailer or
pole-trailer or a vehicle carrying explosive cargo that is stopped for more
than 10 minutes on a roadway outside a city limits or on a roadway of a divided highway or becomes disabled must do is put out the proper flares, flags,
or reflectors.
TWO WAY ROADWAY
b. Commercial vehicles that are subject to the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Regulations must be equipped with a fire extinguisher that is
properly filled and located so that it is readily accessible for use. The fire
extinguisher must be securely mounted on the vehicle. (Note:
Extinguishers, when required, must meet the standards of 393.95 of the
Code of Federal Regulations.)
4. Lighting and Reflectors. Reflectors must be mounted not less than 24
inches nor more than 60 inches in height above the ground on every poletrailer and on trucks, buses, truck tractors, trailers, semi-trailers which are 80
or more inches in width or 30 feet or more in overall length.
See diagrams for lighting and reflector requirements for your type vehicle.
Under certain weight and visibility conditions, farm, fertilizer, and boat trailers
are exempt from lighting requirements. Mobile homes being moved during
clear daylight under permit issued by TX DOT are exempt from lighting and
reflector requirements. For further information concerning lighting requirements for these vehicles request the Department’s publication on lighting
and reflector requirements for trailers. This publication is available at any
Department of Public Safety office or by writing to the Austin headquarters.
DIVIDED HIGHWAY
FLAGS WHEN LAMPS ARE NOT REQUIRED
100’
10’
100’
2. Hazard Warning Signal Lights. When any truck, bus, truck-tractor, trailer,
semi-trailer, or pole-trailer 80 inches or more in width or 30 feet or more in
overall length is stopped upon a roadway or adjacent shoulder, the driver
shall immediately actuate electric hazard warning signal lights (flashers),
which flash simultaneously. These lights need not be displayed by a vehicle
legally parked inside the city limits, a vehicle stopped to receive or discharge
passengers, a vehicle stopped at an official traffic control device, or a vehicle stopped at the direction of a police officer.
3. Fire Extinguisher
a. All school buses, buses, taxis, and other vehicles hauling passengers
for hire or lease, and motor vehicles used to transport migrant agricultural workers must carry a chemical type fire extinguisher of at least onequart capacity. The fire extinguisher must be in good condition and be
located for immediate use.
15-2
ONE WAY
ONE WAY
200’
10’
100’
FLAGS WHEN LAMPS NOT REQUIRED
15-3
VEHICLE LIGHTING AND
REFLECTOR REQUIREMENTS
VISION OBSCURED
NOT LESS THAN 100’
OR MORE THAN 500’
100’
10’
ON EVERY
TRUCK OR BUS LESS THAN 80” IN WIDTH
FRONT
ONE WHITE
LICENSE
PLATE
LAMP
REAR
HEAD
LAMPS
FLAGS WHEN LAMPS NOT REQUIRED
Electric turn signal lamps
one on each side (Color
white to amber)
*Two red tail lamps-one each side
Two red stop lamps-one each side
Two red reflectors-one each side
Electric turn signal lamps one on
each side at rear (Color amber to
red) (Lamps and/or reflectors may
be incorporated)
ON EACH SIDE
NO REQUIREMENTS
*Trucks manufactured or assembled prior to model year 1960 required to
have at least one taillight.
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15-5
ON EVERY
TRUCK OR BUS 80” OR MORE IN WIDTH
FRONT
FRONT
TWO AMBER
CLEARANCE
LAMPS
REAR
TWO AMBER
CLEARANCE
LAMPS
ONE WHITE
LICENSE
PLATE
LAMP
TWO RED
CLEARANCE
LAMPS
Optional
Location
HEAD
LAMPS
*Two red tail lamps-one each side
Two red stop lamps-one each side
Two red reflectors-one each side
Electric turn signal lamps one on
each side at rear (Color amber to
red) (Lamps and/or reflectors may
be incorporated)
RED
REFLECTOR
AMBER
RED
SIDE MARKER LAMP
SIDE MARKER LAMP
*Trucks manufactured or assembled prior to model year 1960 required to
have at least one taillight.
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Electric turn signal lamps
one on each side at front
(Color white to amber
AMBER
SIDE MARKER LAMP
ON EACH SIDE
AMBER
REFLECTOR
TWO RED
CLEARANCE
LAMPS
ONE WHITE
LICENSE
PLATE
LAMP
HEAD
LAMPS
Electric turn signal lamps
one on each side (Color
white to amber)
REAR
*Two red tail lamps-one each side
Two red stop lamps-one each side
Two red reflectors-one each side
Electric turn signal lamps one on
each side at rear (Color amber to
red) (Lamps and/or reflectors may
be incorporated)
ON EACH SIDE
RED
SIDE MARKER LAMP
Optional
Location
AMBER
RED
REFLECTOR
REFLECTOR
* Trucks manufactured or assembled prior to model year 1960 required to
have at least one taillight.
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FRONT
TWO AMBER
CLEARANCE
LAMPS
REAR
ONE WHITE
LICENSE
PLATE
LAMP
TWO RED
CLEARANCE
LAMPS
HEAD
LAMPS
Electric turn signal lamps
one on each side (Color
white to amber)
RED
SIDE MARKER LAMP
ON EVERY TRUCK-TRACTOR
FRONT
TWO AMBER
CLEARANCE
LAMPS
REAR
HEAD
LAMPS
Two red tail lamps-one each side
Two red stop lamps-one each side
Two red reflectors-one each side
Electric turn signal lamps one on
each side at rear (Color amber to
red) (Lamps and/or reflectors may
be incorporated)
ON EACH SIDE
AMBER
SIDE MARKER LAMP
ON EVERY TRUCK-TRACTOR
AMBER
REFLECTOR
RED
REFLECTOR
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***Electric turn
signal lamps
one on each side
(Color white to amber)
Two red tail lamps-one each side
Two red stop lamps-one each side
Two red reflectors-one each side
***Electric turn signal lamps one on
each side at rear (Color amber to
red) (Lamps and/or reflectors may
be incorporated)
ON EACH SIDE
NO REQUIREMENTS
If two license plates are issued rear plate must be illuminated.
***Turn signal lamps on truck tractors may be incorporated into one doublefaced lamp mounted on each side of vehicle, provided signal is visible to
front and rear when truck tractor is operated as single unit.
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ON EVERY
TRAILER 80” OR MORE IN OVERALL WIDTH
FRONT
REAR
TWO AMBER
CLEARANCE
LAMPS
REAR
ON EACH SIDE
ONE WHITE
LICENSE
PLATE
LAMP
NO REQUIREMENTS
Two red tail lamps-one each side
Two red stop lamps-one each side
Two red reflectors-one each side
Electric turn signal lamps one on
each side at rear (Color amber to red)
(Lamps and/or reflectors may be
incorporated)
RED
REFLECTOR
FRONT
TWO RED
CLEARANCE
LAMPS
ONE WHITE
LICENSE
PLATE
LAMP
RED
SIDE MARKER LAMP
ON EVERY TRAILER LESS THAN 80” IN WIDTH
ON EACH SIDE
AMBER
SIDE MARKER LAMP
AMBER REFLECTOR
AMBER
SIDE MARKER LAMP
AMBER
REFLECTOR
Intermediate side marker lamp and reflector required only on trailers
measuring 30 feet or more in length.
15-10
NO REQUIREMENTS
Two red tail lamps-one each side
Two red stop lamps-one each side
Two red reflectors-one each side
Electric turn signal lamps one on
each side at rear (Color amber to
red) (Lamps and/or reflectors may
be incorporated)
ON EVERY POLE TRAILER
AMBER
SIDE MARKER
LAMP
ON EACH SIDE
FRONT
OF LOAD
AMBER
REFLECTOR
ONE WHITE
LICENSE PLATE
LAMP
REAR
Combination lamp
showing amber to the
front, red to the side
and red to the rear
Two red tail lamps-one each side
Two red stop lamps-one each side
Two red reflectors-one each side
Electric turn signal lamps one on
each side at rear (Color amber
to red) (Lamps and/or reflectors
may be incorporated
15-11
5. Flashing Lights. Flashing lights are permitted on authorized emergency
vehicles, on highway maintenance and service equipment, on snow removal
equipment, on a church bus that is clearly marked, and on school buses
when stopping or stopped for children to board or alight. Flashing lights are
also allowed to be used by tow trucks under the direction of a law enforcement officer at the scene of an accident or while hooking up a disabled vehicle in the roadway. A manufactured house over 12 feet wide and the accompanying escort vehicles will be allowed to use amber flashing lights during a
TXDOT permitted move on a roadway, highway, or street.
6. Special Regulations for Certain Vehicles. When operated on the highway
at night all animal-drawn vehicles, implements of husbandry, road machinery, road rollers, and farm tractors not otherwise required to have lamps or
lighting devices must have a white light on the front visible for 1,000 feet and
two red lights on the rear visible for 1,000 feet and two red lights on the rear
visible for 1,000, or one red light to the rear visible for 1,000 feet and two red
reflectors visible from 100 to 600 feet.
7. Brakes
a. Trailers, semi-trailers, and pole-trailers with a gross weight of 4,500
pounds or less are exempt from brake requirements. Trailers, semi-trailers, and pole-trailers with a gross weight in excess of 4,500 pounds and
which do not exceed 15,000 pounds and operated at speeds of 30 miles
per hour or less are not required to be equipped with brakes. Trailers,
semi-trailers, and pole-trailers with a gross weight in excess of 4,500
pounds and which do not exceed 15,000 pounds and are operated at
speeds in excess of 30 miles per hour must have brakes acting on both
wheels of the rear axle.
b. Every motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer, pole trailer, and combination
of such vehicles equipped with brakes shall have the braking system so
arranged that one control device can be used to operate all brakes. This
does not prevent the use of additional control devices to operate brakes
on the towed vehicles. Surge or inertia brake systems may be used on
trailers and semi-trailers with a gross weight of 15,000 pounds or less.
c. Under all conditions, the combination of vehicles must be capable of
complying with the performance requirements. (Generally, if the trailer
and the combination is 3,000 pounds or less, the combination must be
able to stop within 40 feet when traveling 20 miles per hour; if the trailer
and the combination is in excess of 3,000 pounds, the combination must
be able to stop within 50 feet when traveling 20 miles per hour.)
e. A bus, truck or truck tractor that uses air brakes must have a reservoir
that meets performance requirements. A truck with at least 3 axles with
vacuum brakes or a truck or truck tractor used to tow a vehicle with vacuum brakes must have a reservoir system that meets performance
requirements. Both the air and vacuum brake systems must have a
proper warning signal for malfunction of the brake system.
8. Turn Signal Indicators. All motor vehicles, trailers, semi-trailers, or poletrailers (except motorcycles and certain trailers) shall be equipped with electrical turn signal lights, except that passenger cars or trucks under 80 inches
in width and manufactured prior to the year model 1960 need not be
equipped with electrical turn signals unless the body, cab or load of the vehicle or combination of vehicles extends to side more than 24 inches from the
center of the top of the steering post, or the rear limit of the body or load
exceeds more than 14 feet from the center of the top of the steering post.
9. Mud Flaps. All trucks and trailers with four or more tires on the rear axle
must be equipped with safety guards or mud flaps behind the rear wheels.
These flaps must reach to within 8 inches of the surface of the highway and
are for the purpose of preventing the slinging of mud and slush. This provision does not apply to pole-trailers or to a truck-tractor when it is being operated alone and without being in combination with a semi-trailer.
10. Lighting Requirements for Farm Tractors and Implements of Husbandry.
Every farm tractor and every self-propelled unit of farm equipment or implement of husbandry manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1972, shall
be equipped with the following lamps and reflectors:
a. At least two head lamps.
b. One red taillight (visible for at least 1,000 feet from the rear and
mounted as far to left as possible).
c. At least two red reflectors (visible from 100 to 600 feet from the rear).
d. Vehicular hazard warning lights (flashers) which show white or amber
to the front and red or amber to the rear. These lights must be activated
when the vehicle is being operated on any highway. (See diagram.)
d. A vehicle required to have brakes except a motorcycle and motor-driven cycle shall have a parking brake that will hold the vehicle on a grade,
under all loading conditions, and on a surface free from snow, ice or
loose material.
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FRONT
REAR
HAZARD WARNING LIGHTS
(FLASHERS) WHITE OR AMBER
TO THE FRONT
HAZARD WARNING LIGHTS
(FLASHERS) RED OR AMBER
RED
TAIL
LIGHT
HEADLIGHTS
RED
REFLECTOR
AIR BRAKES
Air brakes use compressed air to make the brakes work. Air brakes are a
good and safe way of stopping large and heavy vehicles, but the brakes must
be well maintained and used properly.
Air brakes are really three different braking systems: service brake, parking
brake, and emergency brake systems.
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The service brake system applies and releases the brakes when you use
the brake pedal during normal driving.
The parking brake system applies and releases the parking brakes when
you use the parking brake control.
The emergency brake system uses parts of the service and parking brake
systems to stop the vehicle in the event of a brake system failure.
The parts of these systems are discussed in greater detail below.
SLOW MOVING VEHICLE EMBLEM
11. Slow-Moving Vehicle Emblem. This emblem is now a requirement for all
slow-moving vehicles. Slow-moving vehicles are those designed to operate
at a maximum speed of 25 mph or less, and the term includes all vehicles,
implements of husbandry, or machinery, including road construction machinery being drawn by animals or by slow-moving motor vehicles.
a. A person may not use a slow-moving vehicle emblem on a stationary
object or a vehicle other than a slow-moving vehicle.
b. Exceptions. The following do not need the special emblem:
1) A vehicle being used in actual construction work while traveling
within the limits of a construction area marked as required by the
Texas Transportation Commission;
2) An implement of husbandry or machinery being towed by a slowmoving vehicle bearing a slow-moving vehicle emblem and this
emblem remains visible.
12. Unlawful Equipment. It is unlawful to operate on a highway any motor
vehicle, trailer, or semi-trailer with metal tires except for certain farm trailers.
A tire may not have on its periphery a block, cleats, lugs, flanges, studs,
spikes, or other protuberance of material other than rubber that project
beyond the tread of the traction surface unless the protuberance does not
damage the highway. (This does not prevent the use of tire chains for safety.)
15-14
5.1 THE PARTS OF AN AIR BRAKE SYSTEM
There are many parts to an air brake system. You should know about the
parts discussed here.
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Air Compressor
The air compressor pumps air into the air storage tanks reservoirs. The air
compressor is connected to the engine through gears or a belt. The compressor may be air cooled or may be cooled by the engine cooling system.
It may have its own oil supply, or be lubricated by engine oil. If the compressor has its own oil supply, check the oil level before driving.
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Air Compressor Governor
The governor controls when the air compressor will pump air into the air storage tanks. When air tank pressure rises to the “cut-out” level (around 125
pounds per square inch or “psi”), the governor stops the compressor from
pumping air. When the tank pressure falls to the “cut-in” pressure (around
100 psi), the governor allows the compressor to start pumping again.
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Air Storage Tanks
Air storage tanks are used to hold compressed air. The number and size of
air tanks varies among vehicles. The tanks will hold enough air to allow the
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brakes to be used several times even if the compressor stops working.
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Air Tank Drains
Compressed air usually has some water and some compressor oil in it which
is bad for the air brake system. For example, the water can freeze in cold
weather and cause brake failure. The water and oil tend to collect in the bottom of the air tank. Be sure that you drain the air tanks completely. Each air
tank is equipped with a drain valve in the bottom. There are two types:
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Manually operated by turning a quarter turn, shown in Figure 5-1, or by
pulling a cable. You must drain the tanks yourself at the end of each day
of driving.
Automatic--the water and oil is automatically expelled. They may be
equipped for manual draining as well.
The automatic types are available with electric heating devices. These help
prevent freeze-up of the automatic drain in cold weather.
Figure 5-1--Manual Drain Valve
Check the alcohol container and fill up as necessary, every day during cold
weather. Daily air tank drainage is still needed to get rid of water and oil.
(Unless the system has automatic drain valves).
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Safety Valve
A safety relief valve is installed in the first tank the air compressor pumps air
to. The safety valve protects the tank and the rest of the system from too
much pressure. The valve is usually set to open at 150 psi. If the safety valve
releases air, something is wrong. Have the fault fixed by a mechanic.
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The Brake Pedal
You put on the brakes by pushing down the brake pedal. It is also called the
foot valve or treadle valve. Pushing the pedal down harder applies more air
pressure. Letting up on the brake pedal reduces the air pressure and releases the brakes. Releasing the brakes lets some compressed air go out of the
system, so the air pressure in the tanks is reduced. It must be made up by
the air compressor. Pressing and releasing the pedal unnecessarily can let
air out faster than the compressor can replace it. If the pressure gets too low,
the brakes won’t work.
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Foundation Brakes
Foundation brakes are used at each wheel. The most common type is the scam drum brake, shown in Figure 5-2. The parts of the brake are discussed
below:
Air Tank
Manual Draining Valve
Brake Drums, Shoes, and Linings. Brake drums are located on each end of
the vehicle’s axles. The wheels are bolted to the drums. The braking mechanism is inside the drum. To stop, the brake shoes and linings are pushed
against the inside of the drum. This causes friction which slows the vehicle
and creates heat. The heat a drum can take without damage depends on
how hard and how long the brakes are used. Too much heat can make the
brakes stop working.
S-cam Brakes. When you push the brake pedal, air is let into each brake
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Alcohol Evaporator
Some air brake systems have an alcohol evaporator to put alcohol into the
air system. This helps to reduce the risk of ice in air brake valves and other
parts during cold weather. Ice inside the system can make the brakes stop
working.
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chamber (see Figure 5-2). Air pressure pushes the rod out, moving the slack
adjuster, thus twisting the brake cam shaft. This turns the s-cam so called
because it is shaped like the letter “S”. The s-cam forces the brake shoes
away from one another and presses them against the inside of the brake
drum. When you release the brake pedal, the s-cam rotates back and a
spring pulls the brake shoes away from the drum, letting the wheels roll freely
again.
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Figure 5-2--S-cam Air Brake
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Application Pressure Gauge
This gauge shows how much air pressure you are applying to the brakes.
This gauge is not on all vehicles. Increasing application pressure to hold the
same speed means the brakes are fading. You should slow down and use a
lower gear.
The need for increased pressure can also be caused by brakes out of adjustment, air leaks, or mechanical problems.
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Low Air Pressure Warning
A low air pressure warning signal is required on vehicles with air brakes. A
warning signal you can see must come on before the air pressure in the
tanks falls below 60 psi. (Or one half the compressor governor cutout pressure on older vehicles.) The warning is usually a red light. A buzzer may also
come on.
Another type of warning is the “wig wag.” This device drops a mechanical
arm into your view when the pressure in the system drops below 60 psi. An
automatic wig wag will rise out of your view when the pressure in the system
goes above 60 psi. The manual reset type must be placed in the “out of view”
position manually. It will not stay in place until the pressure in the system is
above 60 psi.
Wedge Brakes. In this type brake, the brake chamber push rod pushes a
wedge directly between the ends of two brake shoes. This shoves them
apart and against the inside of the brake drum. Wedge brakes may have a
single brake chamber, or two brake chambers, pushing wedges in at both
ends of the brake shoes. Wedge type brakes may be self-adjusting or may
require manual adjustment.
Disc Brakes. In air-operated disc brakes, air pressure acts on a brake chamber and slack adjuster, like s-cam brakes. But instead of the s-cam, a “power
screw” is used. The pressure of the brake chamber on the slack adjuster
turns the power screw. The power screw clamps the disc or rotor between
the brake lining pads of a caliper, similar to a large c-clamp.
Wedge brakes and disc brakes are less common than s-cam brakes.
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Supply Pressure Gauges
On large buses it is common for the low pressure warning devices to signal
at 80-85 psi.
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Stop Light Switch
Drivers behind you must be warned when you put your brakes on. The air
brake system does this with an electric switch that works by air pressure. The
switch turns on the brake lights when you put on the air brakes.
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Front Brake Limiting Valve
Some older vehicles (made before 1975) have a front brake limiting valve
and a control in the cab. The control is usually marked “normal” and “slippery.” When you put the control in the “slippery” position, the limiting valve
cuts the “normal” air pressure to the front brakes by half. Limiting valves were
used to reduce the chance of the front wheels skidding on slippery surfaces.
However, they actually reduce the stopping power of the vehicle. Front wheel
braking is good under all conditions. Tests have shown front wheel skids
from braking are not likely even on ice. Make sure the control is in the “nor-
mal” position to have normal stopping power.
All air-braked vehicles have a pressure gauge connected to the air tank. If
the vehicle has a dual air brake system, there will be a gauge for each half
of the system. Or a single gauge with two needles. Dual systems will be discussed later. These gauges tell you how much pressure is in the air tanks.
Many vehicles have automatic front wheel limiting valves. They reduce the
air to the front brakes except when the brakes are put on very hard (60 psi
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or more application pressure). These valves cannot be controlled by the driver.
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Spring Brakes
All trucks, truck tractors, and buses must be equipped with emergency
brakes and parking brakes. They must be held on by mechanical force
(because air pressure can eventually leak away). Spring brakes are usually
used to meet these needs. When driving, powerful springs are held back by
air pressure. If the air pressure is removed, the springs put on the brakes. A
parking brake control in the cab allows the driver to let the air out of the
spring brakes. This lets the springs put the brakes on. A leak in the air brake
system which causes all the air to be lost will also cause the springs to put
on the brakes.
Tractor and straight truck spring brakes will come fully on when air pressure
drops to a range of 20 to 45 psi (typically 20 to 30 psi). Do not wait for the
brakes to come on automatically. When the low air pressure warning light
and buzzer first come on, bring the vehicle to a safe stop right away, while
you can still control the brakes.
The braking power of spring brakes depends on the brakes being in adjustment. If the brakes are not adjusted properly, neither the regular brakes nor
the emergency/parking brakes will work right.
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Parking Brake Controls
In newer vehicles with air brakes, you put on the parking brakes using a diamond-shaped, yellow, push-pull control knob. You pull the knob out to put the
parking brakes (spring brakes) on, and push it in to release them. On older
vehicles, the parking brakes may be controlled by a lever. Use the parking
brakes whenever you park.
Caution. Never push the brake pedal down when the spring brakes are on. If
you do, the brakes could be damaged by the combined forces of the springs
and the air pressure. Many brake systems are designed so this will not happen. But not all systems are set up that way, and those that are may not
always work. It is much better to develop the habit of not pushing the brake
pedal down when the spring brakes are on.
Modulating Control Valves. In some vehicles a control handle on the dash
board may be used to apply the spring brakes gradually. This is called a
modulating valve. It is spring loaded so you have a feel for the braking action.
The more you move the control lever, the harder the spring brakes come on.
They work this way so you can control the spring brakes if the service brakes
fail. When parking a vehicle with a modulating control valve, move the lever
as far as it will go and hold it in place with the locking device.
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Dual Parking Control Valves. When main air pressure is lost, the spring
brakes come on. Some vehicles, such as buses, have a separate air tank
which can be used to release the spring brakes. This is so you can move the
vehicle in an emergency. One of the valves is a push-pull type and is used
to put on the spring brakes for parking. The other valve is spring loaded in
the “out” position. When you push the control in, air from the separate air
tank releases the spring brakes so you can move. When you release the button, the spring brakes come on again. There is only enough air in the separate tank to do this a few times.
Therefore, plan carefully when moving. Otherwise, you may be stopped in a
dangerous location when the separate air supply runs out.
5.2 DUAL AIR BRAKE
Most newer heavy-duty vehicles use dual air brake systems for safety. A dual
air brake system has two separate air brake systems which use a single set
of brake controls. Each system has its own air tanks, hoses, lines, etc. One
system typically operates the regular brakes on the rear axle or axles. The
other system operates the regular brakes on the front axle (and possibly one
rear axle). Both systems supply air to the trailer (if there is one). The first system is called the “primary” system. The other is called the “secondary” system.
Before driving a vehicle with a dual air system, allow time for the air compressor to build up a minimum of 100 psi pressure in both the primary and
secondary systems. Watch the primary and secondary air pressure gauges
(or needles, if the system has two needles in one gauge). Pay attention to
the low air pressure warning light and buzzer. The warning light and buzzer
should shut off when air pressure in both systems rises to a value set by the
manufacturer. This value must be greater than 60 psi.
The warning light and buzzer should come on before the air pressure drops
below 60 psi in either system. If this happens while driving, you should stop
right away and safely park the vehicle. If one air system is very low on pressure, either the front or the rear brakes will not be operating fully. This means
it will take you longer to stop. Bring the vehicle to a safe stop and have the
air brakes system fixed.
5.3 INSPECTING AIR BRAKE SYSTEMS
You should use the basic seven-step inspection procedure described in
Section 2 to inspect your vehicle. There are more things to inspect on a vehicle with air brakes than one without them. We discuss these things below, in
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the order that they fit into the seven-step method.
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During Step 2 Engine Compartment Checks
Check Air Compressor Drive Belt (if compressor is belt driven). If the air compressor is belt-driven, check the condition and tightness of the belt. The belt
should be in good condition.
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During Step 5 Walkaround Inspecting
Check Manual Slack Adjusters on S-cam Brakes. Park on level ground and
chock the wheels to prevent the vehicle from moving. Turn off the parking
brakes so you can move the slack adjusters. Use gloves and pull hard on
each slack adjuster that you can get to. If a slack adjuster moves more than
about one inch where the push rod attaches to it, it probably needs adjustment. Adjust it or have it adjusted. Vehicles with too much brake slack can
be very hard to stop. Out-of-adjustment brakes are the most common problem found in roadside inspections. Be safe. Check the slack adjusters.
Automatic Adjusters should not have to be manually adjusted except when
performing maintenance on the brakes and during installation of the slack
adjusters. The manual adjustment of automatic slack adjusters is dangerous
because it gives the vehicle operator a false sense of security about the
effectiveness of the braking system. In a vehicle equipped with automatic
adjusters, when the pushrod stroke exceeds the legal brake adjustment limit,
it is an indication that a mechanical problem exists in the adjuster itself, a
problem with the related foundation brake components, or that the adjuster
was improperly installed.
The manual adjustment of an automatic adjuster to bring a brake pushrod
stroke within legal limits is generally masking a mechanical problem and is
not fixing it. Further, routine adjustment of most automatic adjusters will likely result in premature wear of the adjuster itself. It is recommended that when
brakes equipped with automatic adjusters are found to be out of adjustment,
the driver take the vehicle to a repair facility as soon as possible to have the
problem corrected.
The manual adjustment of an automatic adjuster should only be used as a
temporary measure to correct the adjustment in an emergency situation as it
is likely the brake will soon be back out of adjustment since this procedure
usually does not fix the underlying adjustment problem.
(Note: Automatic slack adjusters are made by different manufacturers and
do not all operate the same. Therefore, the specific manufacturer’s Service
Manual should be consulted prior to troubleshooting a brake adjustment
problem.)
Check Brake Drums (or Discs), Linings, and Hoses. Brake drums (or discs)
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must not have cracks longer than one half the width of the friction area.
Linings (friction material) must not be loose or soaked with oil or grease.
They must not be dangerously thin. Mechanical parts must be in place, not
broken or missing. Check the air hoses connected to the brake chambers to
make sure they aren’t cut or worn due to rubbing.
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During Step 7 Final Air Brake Check
Do the following checks instead of the hydraulic brake check shown in
Section Two “Step 7: Check Brake System.”
Test Air Leakage Rate. With a fully-charged air system (typically 125 psi), turn
off the engine, release the service brake, and time the air pressure drop. The
loss rate should be less than two psi in one minute for single vehicles and
less than three psi in one minute for combination vehicles. Then apply 90 psi
or more with the brake pedal. After the initial pressure drop, if the air pressure falls more than three psi in one minute for single vehicles more than four
psi for combination vehicles, the air loss rate is too much. Check for air leaks
and fix before driving the vehicle. Otherwise, you could lose your brakes
while driving.
Test Low Pressure Warning Signal. Shut the engine off when you have
enough air pressure so that the low pressure warning signal is not on. Turn
the electrical power on and step on and off the brake pedal to reduce air tank
pressure. The low air pressure warning signal must come on before the
pressure drops to less than 60 psi in the air tank (or tank with the lowest air
pressure, in dual air systems).
If the warning signal doesn’t work, you could lose air pressure and you would
not know it. This could cause sudden emergency braking in a single circuit
air system. In dual systems the stopping distance will be increased. Only limited braking can be done before the spring brakes come on.
Check That the Spring Brakes Come on Automatically. Chock the wheels,
release the parking brakes when you have enough air pressure to do it, and
shut the engine off. Step on and off the brake pedal to reduce the air tank
pressure. The “parking brake” knob should pop out when the air pressure
falls to the manufacturer’s specification (usually in a range between 20-40
psi). This causes the spring brakes to come on.
Check Rate of Air Pressure Buildup. When the engine is at operating rpm, the
pressure should build from 85 to 100 psi within 45 seconds in dual air systems. (If the vehicle has larger than minimum air tanks, the buildup time can
be longer and still be safe. Check the manufacturer’s specifications.) In single air systems (pre-1975), typical requirements are pressure buildup from
50 to 90 psi within three minutes with the engine at an idle speed of 600-900
rpm.
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If air pressure does not build up fast enough, your pressure may drop too low
during driving, requiring an emergency stop. Don’t drive until you get the
problem fixed.
Controlled Braking. With this method, you apply the brakes as hard as you
can without locking the wheels. Keep steering wheel movements very small
air compressor should start at about 100 psi and stop at about 125 psi.
(Check manufacturer’s specifications). Run the engine at a fast idle. The air
governor should cut-out the air compressor at about the manufacturer’s
specified pressure. The air pressure shown by your gauge(s) will stop rising.
With the engine idling, step on and off the brake to reduce the air tank pressure. The compressor should cut-in at about the manufacturer’s specified
cut-in pressure. The pressure should begin to rise.
Stab Braking.
Test Parking Brake. Stop the vehicle, put the parking brake on, and gently
pull against it in a low gear to test that the parking brake will hold.
Note: If you drive a vehicle with anti-lock brakes, you should read and follow
the directions found in the owner’s manual for stopping quickly.
Check Air Compressor Governor Cut-in and Cut-out Pressures. Pumping by the
If the air governor does not work as described above, it may need to be fixed.
A governor that does not work properly may not keep enough air pressure
for safe driving.
Test Service Brakes. Wait for normal air pressure, release the parking brake,
move the vehicle forward slowly (about five mph), and apply the brakes firmly using the brake pedal. Note any vehicle “pulling” to one side, unusual feel,
or delayed stopping action.
This test may show you problems which you otherwise wouldn’t know about
until you needed the brakes on the road.
5.4 USING AIR BRAKES
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Normal Stops
Push the brake pedal down. Control the pressure so the vehicle comes to a
smooth, safe stop. If you have a manual transmission, don’t push the clutch
in until the engine rpm is down close to idle. When stopped, select a starting
gear.
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Emergency Stops
If somebody suddenly pulls out in front of you, your natural response is to hit
the brakes. This is a good response if there’s enough distance to stop and
you use the brakes correctly.
You should brake in a way that will keep your vehicle in a straight line and
allow you to turn if it becomes necessary. You can use the “controlled braking” method or the “stab braking” method.
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while doing this. If you need to make a larger steering adjustment, or if the
wheels lock, release the brakes. Reapply the brakes as soon as you can.
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Apply your brakes all the way.
Release brakes when wheels lock up.
As soon as the wheels start rolling, apply the brakes fully again. (It can
take up to one second for the wheels to start rolling after you release the
brakes. If you re-apply the brakes before the wheels start rolling, the vehicle won’t straighten out.)
Stopping Distance
We talked about stopping distance in Section 2 under “Speed and Stopping
Distance.” With air brakes there is an added delay: the time required for the
brakes to work after the brake pedal is pushed. With hydraulic brakes (used
on cars and light/medium trucks), the brakes work instantly. However, with
air brakes, it takes a little time (one half second or more) for the air to flow
through the lines to the brakes. Thus, the total stopping distance for vehicles
with air brake systems is made up of four different factors.
+
+
+
=
Perception Distance
Reaction Distance
Brake Lag Distance
Effective Braking Distance
Total Stopping Distance
The air brake lag distance at 55 mph on dry pavement adds about 32 feet.
So at 55 mph for an average driver under good traction and brake conditions,
the total stopping distance is over 300 feet. This is longer than a football field.
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Brake Fading or Failure
Brakes are designed so brake shoes or pads rub against the brake drum or
disks to slow the vehicle. Braking creates heat, but brakes are designed to
take a lot of heat. However, brakes can fade or fail from excessive heat
caused by using them too much and not relying on the engine braking effect.
Excessive use of the service brakes results in overheating and leads to
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brake fade. Brake fade results from excessive heat causing chemical
changes in the brake lining which reduce friction and also causes expansion
of the brake drums. As the overheated drums expand, the brake shoes and
linings have to move farther to contact the drums, and the force of this contact is also reduced. Continued overuse may increase brake fade until the
vehicle cannot be slowed down or stopped at all.
Brake fade is also affected by adjustment. To safely control a vehicle, every
brake must do its share of the work. Brakes out of adjustment will stop doing
their share before those that are in adjustment. The other brakes can then
overheat and fade and there will not be sufficient braking available to control
the vehicle(s). Brakes can get out of adjustment quickly, especially when
they are hot. Therefore, brake adjustment must be checked frequently.
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Proper Braking Technique
Remember: The use of brakes on a long and/or steep downgrade is only a
supplement to the braking effect of the engine. Once the vehicle is in the
proper low gear, the following is the proper braking technique:
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Apply the brakes just hard enough to feel a definite slowdown.
When your speed has been reduced to approximately five mph below
your “safe” speed, release the brakes. [This brake application should last
for about three seconds.]
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Parking Brakes
Any time you park, use the parking brakes, except as noted below. Pull the
parking brake control knob out to apply the parking brakes, push it in to
release them. The control will be a yellow, diamondshaped knob labeled
“parking brakes” on newer vehicles. On older vehicles, it may be a round
blue knob or some other shape (including a lever that swings from side to
side or up and down).
Don’t use the parking brakes if the brakes are very hot (from just having
come down a steep grade), or if the brakes are very wet in freezing temperatures. If they are used while they are very hot, they can be damaged by the
heat. If they are used in freezing temperatures when the brakes are very wet,
they can freeze so the vehicle cannot move. Use wheel chocks to hold the
vehicle. Let hot brakes cool before using the parking brakes. If the brakes are
wet, use the brakes lightly while driving in a low gear to heat and dry them.
If your vehicle does not have automatic air tank drains, drain your air tanks
at the end of each working day to remove moisture and oil. Otherwise, the
brakes could fail.
Never leave your vehicle unattended without applying the parking brakes or
chocking the wheels. Your vehicle might roll away and cause injury and damage.
When your speed has increased to your “safe” speed, repeat steps 1 and
2.
For example, if your “safe” speed is 40 mph, you would not apply the brakes
until your speed reaches 40 mph. You now apply the brakes hard enough to
gradually reduce your speed to 35 mph and then release the brakes. Repeat
this as often as necessary until you have reached the end of the downgrade.
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Low Air Pressure
If the low air pressure warning comes on, stop and safely park your vehicle
as soon as possible. There might be an air leak in the system. Controlled
braking is possible only while enough air remains in the air tanks. The spring
brakes will come on when the air pressure drops into the range of 20 to 45
psi. A heavily loaded vehicle will take a long distance to stop because the
spring brakes do not work on all axles. Lightly loaded vehicles or vehicles on
slippery roads may skid out of control when the spring brakes come on. It is
much safer to stop while there is enough air in the tanks to use the foot
brakes.
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LIMITATIONS (note Exceptions)
1. Speed Limits. —(See Chapter 8.)
2. Height. No vehicle, including the load it is hauling, may be more than 14
feet from ground to the top of the load. The driver is responsible for determining that his load will safely pass under any bridge or overpass on his
route.
3. Width. Vehicles including loads transported may not exceed 102 inches
in width. (See exceptions.)
4. Maximum Lengths:
a. Single motor vehicle other than a truck-tractor is 45 feet (see exceptions).
b. A semi-trailer may not exceed 59 feet when operated in a truck-tractor and semi-trailer combination.
c. A semi-trailer or trailer may not exceed a length of 28 1/2 feet each
when operated in a truck-tractor, semi-trailer, and trailer combination.
d. No combination of vehicles, other than a truck-tractor-trailer combination may exceed 65 feet. (See exceptions).
5. Vehicle Combinations. No passenger vehicle or other motor vehicle with
an unloaded weight of less than 2,500 pounds may be coupled with more
than one other vehicle or towing device. If the unloaded weight is 2,500
pounds or more, then no more than three vehicles or towing devices may be
operated in a combination.
6. Load Limits. The greatest weight allowed for any vehicle or combination
of vehicles including the load is 80,000 pounds. (Load limits are based upon
the size of the vehicle, the number and distance between axles, and also on
the tire size.) (See exceptions.) Under certain conditions, vehicles may legally exceed 80,000 pounds by obtaining an oversize/overweight permit through
the Texas Department of Transportation Permit Office.
7. Unloading and Additional Registration. If the gross weight of your vehicle
is found to exceed the maximum gross weight allowed by law plus a tolerance of 5%, you may be required to unload to the limit provided by law plus
the tolerance, or if the axle weight is found to exceed the maximum allowed,
the driver may be required to rearrange the cargo or unload the vehicle to the
limits provided. (Trucks carrying livestock, timber or pulpwood, or agricultural products in their natural state from the place of production to the place of
market or first processing shall not be required to unload any portion of the
load.) Trucks registered for less than the load they are hauling must secure
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additional registration up to the legal limit from the nearest County Tax
Assessor-Collector or the nearest practical point if hauling livestock or perishables.
8. Extensions Over Front and Rear. No vehicle may carry a load extending
more than three feet beyond the front nor more than four feet beyond the
rear, unless a special permit is obtained. When any load extends more than
four feet beyond the bed or body of the vehicle’s rear, there must be attached
on the rear extremities of such extension, red flags at least twelve inches
square during daylight hours and at night a burning red light visible for 500
feet or two red reflectors visible from 100 to 600 feet. (See exceptions.)
(Motor vehicles or combinations thereof used exclusively for the transportation of poles or pipes may exceed the length or extension limits over front
and rear of a vehicle, except that such vehicles may not exceed 65 feet in
length and may be operated only between sunrise and sunset.)
Exception to the rear extension requirement. A load may extend more than
four feet beyond the rear of a trailer if the load consists of a motor vehicle
that:
a. is designed and intended to be carried at the rear of the trailer;
b. is used or intended to be used to load or unload a commodity on or
off the trailer;
c. does not extend more than seven feet beyond the rear of the trailer;
and
d. complies with each applicable Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Regulation.
9. Towing. When one vehicle is towing another, the drawbar, chain, rope,
cable, or other connection must be strong enough to pull the weight drawn
and not be longer than fifteen feet from one vehicle to the other. (This 15-foot
limit does not apply to pole trailers.) When a chain, rope, or cable is used as
a connection, a white flag not less than twelve inches square must be
attached to it.
10. Metal Tires. Vehicles, trailers, etc., weighing 5,000 pounds or more, with
metal tires, may not be operated on a highway without a special permit.
11. Transporting Loose Materials. No person shall load or transport any
loose material on or over the public highways, such as dirt, sand, gravel,
wood chips, or other material except agricultural products in their natural
state, that is capable of blowing or spilling from a vehicle unless:
a. The bed carrying the load must be completely enclosed on both sides
and on the front and on the rear by a tailgate, board or panel, and all
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must be so constructed as to prevent the escape of any part of the load
by blowing or spilling.
b. The top of the load must be covered with a canvas, tarpaulin, or other
covering firmly secured to the front and the back to prevent the escape
of any part of the load because of blowing or spilling. This requirement
does not apply to any load-carrying compartment that completely
encloses the load or to the transporting of any load of loose materials
that are not blowing or spilling over the top of the load-carrying compartment.
EXCEPTIONS TO STANDARD VEHICLE
SIZE REQUIREMENTS
1. Water well drilling machinery, vehicles owned or operated by public, private, or volunteer fire departments, highway building or maintenance
machinery, farm tractors, and implements of husbandry or vehicles hauling
same are exempt from width limitations on all highways except the Interstate
system when operated during daylight hours.
2. A single-motor vehicle used only to transport seed cotton modules, cotton, or equipment used in transporting or processing of cotton may operate
up to 120 inches in width provided the vehicle is registered with a “Cotton
Vehicle” license plate. Vehicles carrying cylindrically shaped bales of hay
may not exceed 144 inches in width.
3. Motor buses longer than 35 feet must have air brakes and three or more
axles or four tires on the rear axle.
4. The length requirements for vehicles and combinations of vehicles do
not apply if they are operated only within city limits.
5. Load limits may vary according to the size of the vehicle, the number of
axles and distance between the axles, and the size of tires that the vehicle
is equipped with.
6. The State Highway Commission may lower load limits on farm-to-market
and ranch-to-market roads. Signs showing limits allowed are posted to give
notice of such action.
7. A vehicle or combination of vehicles, other than a truck tractor or truck
tractor combination, of not more than 90 feet long may be used from sunrise
to sunset to haul poles, piling, or unrefined timber from the forest to a mill not
more than 125 miles away. A red flag 12 inches square or a strobe light must
be displayed at the rear of the load in a manner visible to drivers behind the
vehicle.
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8. For a fee of $120 per year, a combination of vehicles, other than truck
tractor combinations, of not more than 75 feet long may be used to haul
poles for electric power line maintenance from sunrise to sunset at a speed
not to exceed 50 mph. The vehicles must have two red lamps visible for 500
feet, two red reflectors visible for 100 to 600 feet and two red lamps, one on
each side to indicate the maximum overhang.
9. A single-motor vehicle used only to transport seed cotton modules, cotton, cotton burrs or equipment used in transporting or processing of cotton,
including a burr spreader may not exceed 48 feet in length, 120 inches in
width or 14 feet 6 inches in height.
10. Fire department vehicles are exempt from length, width, and weight regulations.
11. A combination of vehicles used to transport a combine that is used for
farm custom harvesting may have an overall length of not more than 75 feet.
OPERATING RULES
1. Coasting. It is unlawful for a commercial motor vehicle to coast down any
grade even with the clutch disengaged while the transmission is left in gear.
If it is necessary to shift to a lower gear, do so before starting down the hill.
2. Following. On a roadway outside a business or residential area when
one truck or motor vehicle drawing another vehicle is following another truck
or motor vehicle drawing another vehicle, it must keep far enough back to
allow another vehicle to overtake and enter the space between them safely.
(This does not prevent a truck from overtaking and passing another vehicle.)
This does include a caravan or motorcade traveling on a roadway outside a
business or residential area.
3. Railroad Grade Crossing.
a. Outside a business district or residence district all buses carrying passengers for hire must stop at all railroad grade crossings unless a traffic
control signal or police officer directs traffic to proceed.
b. All school buses must stop at all railroad grade crossings and not proceed until safe to do so.
c. All super-heavy equipment such as crawler type tractors, steam shovels, derricks, rollers, etc., must stop for all railroad grade crossings.
d. Trucks carrying explosives or flammable liquids must stop at railroad
grade crossings. These provisions do not apply to streetcar crossings,
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abandoned tracks, industrial switching tracks, or where a traffic signal or
officer directs traffic to proceed.
4. Vehicles Transporting Hazardous Materials. The Department has adopted the U.S. Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Regulations.
Copies of these regulations may be obtained from the U.S. Government
Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
SAFETY PRACTICES
1. Right Turns with Large Equipment. Tractor-trailers and long wheelbase
trucks and buses, when turning right, must have curb clearance for the rear
wheels. Since they cannot stay in the proper lane while turning, they should
turn by one of these methods:
a. Approach the corner in the proper lane, about four feet from the curb
(close enough to keep a car from passing on the right). As soon as the
front wheels pass the corner, turn wide to the right, swinging over the
center of the side street if necessary, in order for the right rear wheel to
clear the curb.
b. If the street into which you are turning is narrow, it may be necessary
to approach as above, then swing left enough to place the right rear
wheel in position to miss the curb (but not far enough away to invite
passing on the right), then turn sharply right into the narrow street or
driveway.
You cannot watch too carefully when you are on your own side of the road.
This is even truer while turning in a large vehicle, when you must be on the
wrong side of the road part of the time.
e. Park where you will not have to back to get away from the parking
place.
f. Never back around an intersection corner to turn around.
g. If you have to back in or out of a driveway, where possible, back into
the driveway from the street so that you can drive out forward and see
where you are going.
h. When backing over a sidewalk into a street, stop at the sidewalk to
make especially certain that there is no child playing behind or close by.
Stop again at the curb to make a last check on traffic before backing into
the street.
i. Don’t depend entirely upon your rear vision mirror.
3. Safe Passing of Two-Wheeled Vehicles. Motorcycles and bicycles are
lighter and more subject to wind effects than four-wheeled vehicles are. Due
to this, special care must be taken when passing.
a. Aerodynamic effects around a large vehicle can cause a two-wheeled
vehicle to be suddenly pulled toward the larger vehicle by two or three
feet, depending on the relative speed between the two vehicles. You
should always allow at least six feet to the left of the two-wheeled vehicle when you are passing.
b. When passing a two-wheeled vehicle, do not attempt to share the lane
with that vehicle. Move into the next or oncoming lane to pass. If there
is oncoming traffic, then slow and follow the two-wheeled vehicle until
oncoming traffic clears.
TRUCK DRIVERS SHARING THE ROAD
WITH AUTOMOBILES
2. Safe Backing Practices. A large or long vehicle is much more difficult to
back safely than a smaller one. These practices are recommended.
a. When you must back, get out and walk around your truck and make
certain there is nothing behind. Then back immediately and watch carefully.
Professional truck drivers can’t just be good truck drivers. You have to be
better than anyone else on the road. Truck drivers have the responsibility not
only to safely deliver the nation’s freight on time, but are industry’s front-line
defense against a bad image. Truck drivers should share the highways with
automobiles and adhere to the following guidelines.
c. If necessary to back some distance, stop part way, then get out and
check your progress.
TAILGATING
b. Use both rearview mirrors. You can’t see the right side while hanging
out the left door.
d. Try to have someone standing in a safe place to guide you by signaling.
15-32
Tailgating is the most common complaint car drivers have against truck drivers. It may not always be justified, but it is a frequent one.
The professional:
15-33
passing lane. Leave some extra space before you pull back in.
Keeps a gap between his or her truck and the car ahead in heavy traffic
because the truck needs more space to stop. (Remember, your truck looms
frighteningly large in the mirror.)
Remember that a truck pushes a wall of air ahead of it. To avoid buffeting
cars, keep as much space as possible between the vehicles you pass.
Increases the distance of the gap to 6-8 seconds in bad weather (more reaction time to compensate for poor traction and actions of less experienced car
drivers).
SCHOOL BUSES, RECREATIONAL VEHICLES, AND OTHERS
Maintains a four-second following distance on the open road.
Remains alert to the car driver who cuts into the open space in front of the
truck.
Knows that tailgating or forming convoys promotes unsafe passes by groups
of cars stacked up behind. If they do attempt to pass and don’t make it, you
and others could be involved in a serious accident.
SPEEDING
Slow traffic and congestion are facts of life to the professional truck driver.
Keep cool and lay off the horn and flashing of the headlights.
The professional truck driver should be especially watchful for drivers of
school buses, recreational vehicles, and drivers of rental trucks. These
groups of drivers’ level of experience can vary a great deal. Therefore, truck
drivers should:
Give school buses as much room as possible. Watch for frequent stops to
load and unload children. Remember, the driver can be distracted by the children on the bus.
Speeding by trucks is a common cause of accidents and another major complaint by motorists. Driving too fast for conditions - regardless of the posted
speed - is dangerous. Remember, obeying the speed limit:
Realize drivers of RV’s and smaller vehicles pulling trailers can be a problem
because they may not have the professional skills or knowledge of the professional truck driver. These vehicles are especially susceptible to turbulence from big trucks, so reduce your speed and give them plenty of room.
Increases fuel economy by as much as a mile per gallon at 55 mph rather
than 65.
HOT AND COLD
Saves lives, injuries, and property damage.
Saves wear and tear on tires, brakes, and engines.
Allows sufficient time and space to stop after a hazard is sighted.
Remember, your stopping distance increases at a much faster rate than your
speed. If you double your speed, your stopping distance will be four times
greater.
PASSING
The following are basic reminders truck drivers should follow when passing
and dealing with slower traffic:
Signals alone aren’t enough. Before making a move, the professional truck
driver makes sure that a lane change or passing maneuver can be made
safely and without interfering with others.
Pass these vehicles with care and as far to the left as safely possible.
Summer driving has its own perils. Truck drivers should especially be on the
lookout for:
Lost, fatigued motorists on vacation who may suddenly stop, or swerve
across several lanes of traffic to an exit. Overloaded cars with poor visibility
and/or drivers distracted by kids and pets.
Highway construction projects where roads suddenly turn into narrow lanes
with confusing signs. (Heavy equipment and pedestrians are often nearby.)
Winter ice and snow mean gearing down on grades to avoid wheel-spinning
and brake lock-up which can lead to jackknifing. If you find a traffic jam-up
and multiple vehicle accidents, stay back and wait for them to clear before
trying to get your rig through.
Don’t alarm a car driver by overtaking too closely before moving into the
15-34
15-35
ATTITUDE
A good attitude is a professional truck driver’s badge of honor. Sharing the
roads with automobiles must be a safety concern for the professional driver.
REGISTRATION OF VEHICLES
1. All vehicles must be registered in the county of residence.
2. The following vehicles are not required to be registered or inspected or
to display a license plate when operated temporarily upon the highways:
a. Farm tractors.
b. Farm trailers, farm semi-trailers, and certain fertilizer and cottonseed
trailers weighing not more than 4,000 pounds gross.
c. Implements of husbandry.
d. Power sweepers.
e. Certain golf carts.
3. The following vehicles when operated temporarily upon the highways
are not required to be registered or inspected if the owner annually secures
a distinguishing $5.00 license plate and complies with other special conditions in the law:
a. Machinery for drilling water wells and construction machinery.
b. Farm trailers, farm semi-trailers, cotton trailers, cottonseed trailers,
and certain fertilizer trailers weighing over 4,000 pounds and not over
34,000 pounds gross.
4. Nonresident truck owners may be issued 30-day temporary registration
permits for certain movements of farm products and machinery during harvesting season.
Manufacturer’s metal registration plate may be used for testing purposes
only—vehicle inspection is required. Dealers temporary cardboard tag may
be used for demonstrating a vehicle for sale with motor vehicle inspection
certificate attached, or for transporting or servicing vehicles without motor
vehicle inspection certificate.
7. Farm registered vehicles, in addition to use for farm and ranch purposes, may be used as a means of passenger transportation for members of the
family to attend church or school, to visit doctors for medical treatment or
supplies, or for other necessities of the home or family - but not for gainful
employment.
8. The period for which out-of-state registration plates are recognized in
Texas after establishing residency or entering into gainful employment is 30
days.
9. For registration applications and detailed information, consult your
County Tax Assessor-Collector or the Motor Vehicle Division of the Texas
Department of Transportation. Additional information may also be obtained
from Department of Public Safety publications pertaining to commercial vehicles.
FEDERAL REGULATIONS
The Texas Department of Public Safety has adopted by reference the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, 49 Code of Federal Regulations,
Parts 40, 380, 382, 385, 386, 387, 390-393 and 395-397. The Department
has also adopted the Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations, Parts
171-173, 177, and 178. For detailed information concerning these
regulations and exceptions adopted by the Department of Public Safety, see
Title 37 of the Texas Admininstrative Code Rules 4.1, 4.11 and 4.12 on file
with the Texas Secretary of State or online at:
http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.viewtac.
COMMERCIAL DRIVER LICENSE (CDL)
5. Under certain conditions, temporary registration permits and reduced
registration rates for special vehicles may be obtained. (See your County Tax
Assessor-Collector or the Motor Vehicle Division of the Texas Department of
Transportation for information.)
If required to obtain a Commercial Driver License (CDL), refer to the
Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Handbook for information.
15-36
15-37
6. Buyers temporary cardboard tags are recognized for 20 days; dealers
metal registration plates may be used on any dealer-owned motor vehicle,
except for commercial purposes—vehicle inspection is required.
APPENDIX A
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
-A-
acceleration lane - lane that permits drivers entering an expressway to
accelerate to the speed of expressway traffic.
active restraint device - any restraint device that you have to engage to
make it effective.
advisory speed limit - speed limit set for special conditions such as sharp
curves.
aggressive driving - the behavior of driving in a combative, forceful, or competitive manner. Usually caused by frustration of other drivers.
alert light - instrument panel lights that indicate a system is functioning and
turn off after a short period of time
angle parking - parking the vehicle diagonally to the curb.
-B-
backup lights - white lights at the rear of the vehicle that tell other drivers
you are backing up.
banked curve - curve higher on the outside than it is on the inside that helps
overcome a vehicle's tendency to move to the outside of the curve.
basic speed law - law stating that you may not drive faster than is safe and
prudent for existing conditions, regardless of posted speed limits.
bicycle - means every device propelled by human power upon which any
person may ride, having two tandem wheels either of which is more than 14
inches in diameter.
blind-zone area - area that rearview mirrors cannot show.
blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) - amount of alcohol in the blood
expressed as a percentage of ethyl alcohol related to the volume of fluids in
the bloodstream.
blowout - sudden loss of tire air pressure while driving.
bodily-injury insurance - covers the driver who is at fault against claims.
brake fade - loss of braking effectiveness caused by the brakes overheating
after long, continuous, hard braking.
braking distance - distance your vehicle travels from the time you apply the
brake until your vehicle stops.
-C-
carbon monoxide - colorless, odorless, tasteless gas contained in the
exhaust fumes of gasoline engines.
catalytic converter - part of a vehicle's emission system that converts harmful gases into less harmful gases and water.
A-1
center of gravity - point around which the vehicle's weight is evenly distributed.
central vision - the field of vision around your focal vision in which you can
see clearly while looking straight ahead that aids in determining vehicle position to the roadway.
clutch pedal - pedal in a manual transmission vehicle that enables a driver
to shift gears.
collision - contact between two or more objects, as when two vehicles collide into each other.
collision insurance - provides coverage to pay the costs of repair or
replacement of your vehicle from a collision.
color-blindness - inability to distinguish colors.
communication - informing other drivers of your intentions to turn, slow,
stop, etc. using mechanical or hand/arm signals, headlights, horn, etc.
comprehensive insurance - provides coverage for replacement or repair of
your vehicle from damage other than from a collision.
controlled-access highway - highway that vehicles can enter and exit only
at interchanges.
controlled braking - reducing speed by firmly stepping on and squeezing
brake pedal and maintaining steering control of the vehicle.
controlled intersection - intersection at which signals or signs determine
the right of way.
controlled railroad crossing - railroad crossing controlled by flashing red
lights and/or crossing gates.
cover the brake - take your foot off the accelerator hold it over the brake
pedal to reduce response time for brake application and maintain speed of
vehicle.
crossbuck - large white X-shaped sign located prior to a railroad crossing.
-D-
deceleration lane - expressway lane used to slow your vehicle without
blocking vehicles behind you.
defensive driving - protecting yourself and others from dangerous and
unexpected driving situations by using a space management system.
delayed green light - indicates that one side of intersection has a green light
while the light for oncoming traffic remains red.
depressant - drug that slows the response of the central nervous system.
depth perception - ability to judge distance between yourself and other
objects.
designated driver - person who decides ahead of time not to drink alcoholic
beverages and is appointed to drive others who do drink.
distractions - anything that distracts the driver's attention from the driving
task.
downshifting - shifting from a higher to a lower gear to slow vehicle and is
not recommended for front-drive standard shift vehicles due to damaging the
constant velocity joints connected to the transaxle.
driving task - all social, physical, legal, and mental skills required to drive.
A-2
driving under the influence (DUI) - a Class C misdemeanor for which a
minor can be charged in Texas if driving with any detectable amount of alcohol in the minorʼs system. An offense for which a driver can be charged in
some states if the driver's blood-alcohol concentration is above 0.05.
driving while intoxicated (DWI) - an offense for which a driver can be
charged in all states if the driver's blood-alcohol concentration is above a certain level.
-E-
emotion - strong feeling such as anger, fear, and joy.
energy of motion - kinetic energy or the energy an object has because it is
moving.
entrance ramp - ramp leading onto an expressway.
euphoria - false sense of well-being developed as a result of alcohol or drug
consumption.
evasive action steering - emergency steering technique used to quickly
steer around an object in your path. Without removing hands from the steering wheel, turn the wheel so that the forearms touch each other, then turn the
wheel in the opposite direction until the forearms touch again. Return the
wheel to center position. This is the maximum steer input for lane change
and activated ABS. Less input may be used to perform maneuvers for emergency lane adjustment to the left or right.
exit ramp - ramp leading off an expressway.
-F-
field of vision - all the area a person can see while looking straight ahead.
field sobriety test - series of on-the-spot, road-side tests that help an officer detect impairment of a driver suspected of DUI or DWI.
financial responsibility law - law that requires you to prove that you can
pay for collision damages you cause that result in death, injury, or property
damage.
flashing signal - traffic signal that alerts drivers to dangerous conditions or
tells them to stop.
focus vision (fovial) - is that part of the vision field which allows the driver
to read signs and make distinctions between vehicles and objects often
measured as visual acuity.
following interval - time recommended to follow another vehicle in the
intended path of travel. Select an object near the road surface. When the
vehicle ahead passes that object, start counting "one thousand-one," "one
thousand-two," etc., until the front of your car reaches that point. For speeds
under 30 mph, the minimum time with good road conditions is 2 seconds. For
speeds above 30 mph, maintain 4 seconds (more for adverse conditions) of
following time. Developing a 4 second following interval is the best practice
for a novice driver.
force of impact - force with which one moving object hits another object;
varies according to speed, weight, and distance between impact and stop
and is based on forces of inertia and momentum.
A-3
freeway - a divided arterial highway with full control of access and with no
crossing at grade.
fresh green light - is a light that has just turned from red to green.
friction - force that creates heat and helps each tire to maintain traction on
the road, unless too much heat is generated which may cause traction loss
due to melting of tire rubber on the roadway.
-G-
gap - time or distance interval between vehicles on roadway.
gear selector - device in an automatic transmission vehicle used to select
gears.
glare recovery time - time your eyes need to regain clear vision after being
affected by glare.
glare resistance - ability to continue seeing when looking at bright lights.
graduated driver licensing program - requires young drivers to progress
through a series of licensing stages with various restrictions as to accompanying drivers, times permitted to drive and allowable passengers.
gravity - force that pulls all things to earth.
ground viewing - making quick glances to the roadway in front of your vehicle, similar to view patterns of mirror and dashboard.
guide sign - sign that gives directions, distance, services, points of interest,
and other information.
-H-
hallucinogen - mind-altering drug that tends to distort a person's perceptions of direction, distance, and time.
hazard flasher - device that flashes front turn signal lights and taillights to
warn others the vehicle is a hazard.
head restraints - specially designed air bag or padded devices on the backs
of front seats that help reduce whiplash injuries in a side or rear impact collision.
highway hypnosis - drowsy or trance-like condition caused by concentration on the roadway ahead and monotony of driving.
hydroplaning - occurs when a tire patch loses roadway contact by rising up
on top of water.
-I-
implied-consent law - states that anyone who receives a driver's license
automatically consents to be tested for blood-alcohol content and other
drugs if stopped for suspicion of drug use while driving.
international symbols - symbols used on traffic signs that give a message
without using words.
Intoxilyzer - breath-test instrument machine most commonly used for determining blood-alcohol content.
-JA-4
joining traffic - turning right or left into lanes of other vehicles.
-L-
lane change - lateral maneuver moving the vehicle from one lane to another using proper space management procedures.
lane change device - use of the turn signal by hooking thumb on wheel and
pushing signal halfway just to activate signal so that release of lever will
release the signal.
lane signal - signal, usually overhead, that tells whether a lane can or cannot be used at a specific time.
liability insurance - provides compensation for damages which the insured
is legally obligated to pay; covers others when you are at fault.
limited use lanes - traffic flow lanes posted and designed to accommodate
special vehicles or carpools.
litter prevention - protecting the environment by disposing of litter in a proper container.
loose articles - items in the car that could become flying objects in a collision if hard braking (threshold) is required to avoid a collision.
-M-
median - area of ground separating traffic moving in opposite directions.
merging area - stretch of roadway at the end of an acceleration lane on an
expressway where vehicles join the flow of traffic.
minimize a hazard - reduce the possibility of conflict by putting more space
between your vehicle and the hazard.
minimum speed limit - speed limit to keep traffic moving safely by not allowing drivers to drive slower than a certain speed.
moped - A motor-driven cycle that cannot attain a speed in one mile of more
than 30 miles per hour and the engine of which:
(A) cannot produce more than two-brake horsepower; and
(B) if an internal combustion engine, has a piston displacement of 50
cubic centimeters or less and connects to a power drive system that does not
require the operator to shift gears. Two-wheeled vehicle that can be driven
with either a motor or pedal.
Motorcycle – a motor vehicle, other than a tractor, that is equipped with a
riderʼs saddle and designed to have when propelled not more than three
wheels on the ground.
Motor-driven cycle – a motorcycle equipped with a motor that has an
engine displacement of 250 cubic centimeters or less. The term does not
include an electric bicycle.
muffler - device that reduces the noise from combustion sounds in the
engine.
-NA-5
night blindness - not being able to see well at night.
no-fault insurance - covers an insured's losses and expenses associated
with a collision regardless of who is at fault.
no-zones - large mirror blind-zones where truck drivers cannot see other
vehicles to the front side or rear.
nystagmus - involuntary jerking of the eyes as a person gazes to the side.
Part of the field sobriety tests is called gaze nystagmus.
-O-
occupant protection systems - protection incorporating technological
advances in vehicle integrity in the event of a collision and response capability, such as safety belts, airbags, padded dash, padded sun visors, crunch
zones, etc.
odometer - device on the instrument panel indicating the total number of
miles the vehicle has been driven.
orderly visual search pattern - process of searching critical areas in a regular sequence from the intended path of travel.
overdriving headlights - driving at a speed that makes your stopping distance longer than the distance lighted by your headlights. Low beams are limited to 45 mph and high beams are limited to 65 mph for stopping purposes.
oversteer - when the rear tire patches lose varying degrees of traction and
the front tire patches have more traction causing a spinning effect (yaw)
around the vehicle's center of gravity. The vehicle has a tendency to spin to
the left or right even though the driver is not turning the steering wheel.
overtake - to pass the vehicle ahead.
over-the-counter (OTC) medicine - drug that can be obtained legally without a doctor's prescription.
-P-
parallel parking - parking where the vehicle lines up parallel or going the
same direction as the curb. When parallel parking, the vehicle must be at
least 6 inches but not more than 18 inches from the curb.
passive restraint device - restraint device, such as an air bag or an automatic seat belt, that works without the passenger or driver initiating the
device.
pedestrian signal - signal used at heavy traffic intersections that tells
pedestrians whether they should walk or wait.
peer pressure - mental and social influence of others of a similar age on
decision-making skills.
perception distance - distance your vehicle travels during perception time.
perception time - length of time it takes for the driver to make a risk-reduction decision.
peripheral vision - area a person can see that is around the central field of
vision.
perpendicular parking - parking the vehicle at a right angle (to a curb or
parking stripe using visual reference points for entering and leaving.
A-6
point of decision - driver of the passing vehicle has entered the passing
lane and is in the left rear zone of the vehicle being passed. At this point the
driver of the passing vehicle has better visibility and has time to reevaluate
and make a decision whether to complete the pass or abort it.
point-of-no-return - point beyond which a driver can no longer stop safely
without entering the intersection.
prescription medicine - drug that can be purchased legally only when
ordered by a doctor.
preventive maintenance - routine care and attention to your vehicle.
principal driver - person who will drive a certain vehicle most often.
property-damage insurance - protects the driver who is at fault against
claims for damages to another person's property, up to specified limits.
protected left turn - left turn made on a left-turn light, green arrow, or
delayed green light while oncoming traffic is stopped.
protective gear - items a motorcyclist wears to protect head, eyes, and body.
push-pull steering - When you use push-pull steering, the palms of both
hands should be facing you. To turn right, firmly grasp the steering wheel with
your left hand at about the 7 oʼclock position. Push the wheel until your hand
is at about the 11:00 oʼclock. Slide your right hand up to about 12:00 and pull
the steering wheel down while moving your left hand back down to 7 oʼclock.
Continue pushing and pulling the wheel as you complete the turn.
-R-
reaction distance - distance vehicle travels from the point the driver perceives the need to act and the point where the driver takes that action
through braking, steering, or acceleration. Distance your vehicle travels until
the driver perceives the need to change speed or position.
reaction time - the time the vehicle travels from the point the driver perceives the need to act and the point where the driver takes that action
through braking, steering, or acceleration. Length of time it takes the driver
to execute a reduced-risk action, after a response is perceived by the driver.
reduced visibility - inability of a driver to see clearly.
reference point - a part of the outside or inside of the vehicle, as viewed
from the driver's seat, that relates to some part of the roadway which allows
the driver to estimate position on the roadway. The roadway positions (points
of reference) of the vehicle assist the driver in determining when to start turning, vehicle limitations, or where the vehicle is actually located.
regulatory sign - sign that controls traffic.
restraint device - any part of a vehicle that holds an occupant in the seat
during a collision.
right of way - privilege of having immediate use of a certain part of a roadway.
right-turn-on-red - turning right when the red signal is on, after stopping
behind the intersection guides, unless specifically prohibited to turn.
risk (potential or immediate) - in driving, possibility of having a conflict that
results in a crash or collision with another vehicle.
roadway marking - markings and lane delineators (reflectors) that gives you
A-7
a warning or direction.
roadway users - people who use roadway by walking, driving, or riding.
rocking a vehicle - repeating the sequence of driving forward a little and
then back a little to move your vehicle out of deep snow, mud, or sand.
roll of vehicle - vehicle suspension changes to the left or right side that
affect the weight distributed to each tire causing a reduction in traction.
Abrupt steering movements at higher speeds increase this occurrence and
can lead to complete loss of traction. Vehicle suspension changes to the left
or right side that affect the size of the tire patches' contact with the roadway
that are initiated by the driver action of steering the vehicle. Abrupt steering
efforts (hand-over-hand) at higher speeds can cause traction loss due to the
suspension's inability to keep the tire patches or traction in optimum traction
positions.
rumble strips - sections of rough pavement intended to alert drivers of
approaching roadway construction, tollbooth plaza, or other traffic conditions.
-S-
safety chains - backup link used in case a trailer hitch fails.
school zone - portion of a street or highway near a school that is subject to
special speed limits.
searching - keep the eyes moving from 12-15 seconds path of travel, side
to side, the rearview and side view mirrors, vehicle reference to lane position, and the instrument panel, toward the target area.
selective seeing - searching only those clues and events that restrict your
line of sight or can change your intended path of travel.
shared left-turn lane - lane on a busy street that helps drivers make safer
mid-block left turns into business areas from a center lane.
skid - a mark on the road surface from a tire that is sliding due to a loss of
traction from braking or abrupt steering. When tire patches lose part or all of
their traction on the roadway surface due to abrupt suspension balance
changes or roadway surface conditions.
slow-moving vehicle - vehicle unable to travel at highway speed.
space (central) - space area around the vehicle that is not visible to the
seated driver.
space management areas - designated or numbered positions around the
car that identify relationships to the environment or objects.
space cushion - open area around a vehicle that consists of adequate following interval between it and the vehicles ahead and behind that allow the
driver to stop, plus swerve paths to left and right.
speed smear - occurs when objects in your peripheral vision become
blurred and distorted as your speed increases.
staggered stop - stopping when the white line disappears visually under the
hood line. This allows extra space for left-turning vehicles.
stale green light – a traffic light that has been green for a long time.
standard reference point - point that allows for vehicle placement on roadway that is typical for most drivers.
A-8
stimulant - drug that speeds up the central nervous system.
stopping position - stopping behind a vehicle in a position that allows the
driver enough space to steer around the vehicle to avoid a stalled, turning,
or backing vehicle.
-T-
tailgate - to follow another vehicle too closely.
target - an object that appears in the center and the end of the visible intended path of travel.
threshold braking - maximum controlled braking efforts that provide for
maximum deceleration without loss of tire traction.
total stopping distance - distance your vehicle travels while you make a
stop.
traction - friction or gripping power between the tire patches and the roadway surface.
traffic circle - intersection that forms when several roadways meet at a circle.
traffic control devices - any signal, sign, or pavement marking used to control the movement of traffic.
traffic signal - any signal used to control the movement of traffic.
tunnel vision - being able to see in a narrow field of vision of 140° or less,
with little effective peripheral vision.
turn - vehicle maneuver to change direction to the left or right.
turnabout - turning maneuvers for turning into or out of an alley or driveway
using reference points for best positioning.
-U-
uncontrolled intersection - intersection that has no signs or signals to regulate traffic including railroad crossings that do not have flashing red lights or
crossing gates.
underinsured motorist insurance - covers costs that exceed what the
other person's insurance company will pay as a result of a collision caused
by anotherʼs fault.
understeer - the driver fails to take sufficient steering action to avoid objects
in its path or to negotiate a curve. When the front tire patches lose varying
degrees of traction and the rear tire patches have more traction causing a
pushing effect on the vehicle due to momentum and inertia forces. The vehicle has a tendency to go straight even if the steering wheel is turned more
dramatically.
uninsured motorist insurance - covers costs up to a certain amount if you
are struck by another vehicle whose driver has no insurance.
unprotected left turn - left turn made at a signal-controlled intersection without a special left turn light.
-V-
vehicle - means every device, in, upon, or by which any person or property
A-9
is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, excepting devices used
exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.
vehicle balance - vehicle suspension configurations that control the size of
the tires as they contact the roadway for ideal vehicle traction and control.
Changes to the suspension configuration (and therefore the tire patches
affecting traction) are initiated by driver actions of steering, braking, and/or
accelerating the vehicle. The vehicle suspension is in the ideal state of balance and tire traction when it is parked on a level surface.
vehicle code - federal and state laws that regulate the highway transportation system.
vehicle control devices - gear selector, accelerator pedal, brake pedal, and
steering wheel.
vehicle malfunctions - failures of the vehicle to perform as designed, such
as tire, steering, suspension, acceleration, fuel, etc.
vehicle maintenance - scheduled or unscheduled upkeep or repair of a
vehicle.
vehicle maneuvers - moving forward, moving backward, turning, lateral
maneuvers, and turnabouts.
vehicle movements - the vehicle moving forward, backward, and laterally.
vehicle requirements - vehicle use and ownership, insurance, maintenance, and trip planning.
visibility - ability to see.
-W-
warning sign - sign that alerts you to possible hazards and road conditions.
warning light - an instrument panel light that warns of a system malfunction
and usually stays on while the system is malfunctioning.
weather - state of the atmosphere with respect to heat or cold, wetness or
dryness, calm or storm, clearness or cloudiness.
wolf pack - group of vehicles traveling together in a bunch on an expressway.
-Y-
yield - to allow another vehicle or roadway user to proceed first.
-Z-
zero-tolerance law - law stating it is illegal for persons under the age of 21
to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in the blood.
A-10
APPENDIX B
STUDY AND REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR CLASS C OPERATORS
1. What is the minimum age at which you can get a Class C driver license
without either driver education or being a hardship case? (Chpt. 1)
2. How much is the maximum fine for a first conviction of driving without a
license? (Chpt. 1)
3. What type of restrictions may be placed on your license? (Chpt. 1)
4. In what direction should you turn your wheels when parking uphill without a curb? (Chpt. 7)
5. What action should you take if you fail to receive the renewal notice
card reminding you that your driver license is about to expire? (Chpt. 1)
6. On a one-way street, what color is the broken lane marker? (Chpt. 5)
7. Describe the “Yield” sign. (Chpt. 5)
8. What does a “Narrow Bridge” sign look like, and how should the driver
react when he sees one? (Chpt. 5)
9. What is the shape of a “Keep Right” sign, and how should the driver
react when he sees one? (Chpt. 5)
10. Which sign tells you to slow down because you are approaching a double curve? (Chpt. 5)
11. What does a “Do Not Pass” sign mean? (Chpt. 5)
12. Which sign tells you to keep in the right-hand lane when driving slow?
(Chpt. 5)
13. What does “Yield Right-of-Way” mean? (Chpt. 4, 5)
14. Describe the equipment required on passenger cars by state law.
(Chpt. 2)
15. What is the purpose of an exhaust emission system? (Chpt. 2)
16. Describe the types of equipment which Texas state law specifically forbids on passenger cars driven within the state. (Chpt. 2)
17. How should you react when a traffic officer tells you to do something
which is ordinarily considered to be against the law? (Chpt. 5)
B-1
18. Once the brakes have been applied, about how many feet does a car
which was going 70 mph travel before it comes to a stop? (Chpt. 8)
19. When is it necessary to stop before proceeding when you overtake a
school bus loading or unloading children? (Chpt. 4)
20. About how many feet will the average driver going 50 mph travel from
the moment he sees danger until he hits the brakes? (Chpt. 8)
21. Within how many feet of a crosswalk may you park, when parking near
a corner? (Chpt. 7)
22. What is the state speed limit for automobiles in urban districts? (Chpt.
8)
23. Does a posted speed limit of 55 mph mean that you may drive 55 mph
on that highway under all conditions? (Chpt. 8)
24. You should never drive on the left half of the roadway when you are
within how many feet from an intersection, bridge, or railroad crossing?
(Chpt. 6)
25. What should you do if you discover you are in the wrong lane to make
a turn as you enter an intersection? (Chpt. 6)
26. When two cars meet at the intersection of a two-lane road with a fourlane road, which one must yield the right-of-way? (Chpt. 4)
27. If you are driving and hear a siren coming, what should you do? (Chpt.
4)
28. What is the first thing that should be done when a car starts to skid?
(Chpt. 9)
29. At what time of the day should your headlights be turned on? (Chpt. 9)
30. Under what conditions may your driver’s license be suspended?
(Chpt. 1)
31. What is carbon monoxide, and how may it be harmful to drivers?
(Chpt. 14)
32. Describe what you should do if you have a blowout while driving.
(Chpt. 9)
34. What should you do if you damage an unattended vehicle? (Chpt. 11)
35. When are accident reports required? (Chpt. 11)
36. If you are required to show proof of financial responsibility for the future,
how many years must such proof be kept up? (Chpt. 3)
37. What type of sign warns you to watch right and left for cross traffic?
(Chpt. 5)
38. Describe the emblem which identifies vehicles which travel at speeds of
25 mph or less. (Chpt. 15)
39. In which gear should you drive when going down a steep hill? (Chpt. 9)
40. What qualifications must one have to teach a beginner to drive?
(Chpt. 1)
41. If the person is under 18, when does his provisional license expire?
(Chpt. 1)
42. When parked parallel, your curb side wheels must be no more than how
many inches from the curb? (Chpt. 7)
43. When following another car, what is a good rule to determine the distance at which you should follow behind? (Chpt. 9)
44. To what agency and within what time period must a change of address
be reported for driver licensing purposes? (Chpt. 1)
45. What effects does the use of marijuana and amphetamine have on driving? (Chpt. 10)
46. What is the penalty for being convicted of driving while intoxicated?
(Chpt. 10)
47. What does a green arrow showing with a red light mean? (Chpt. 5)
48. How should you react to a flashing red light? (Chpt. 5)
49. Which sign tells you to watch out for a train? (Chpt. 5)
50. Describe the sign which warns you to slow down for a winding road.
(Chpt. 5)
33. What should you do when driving down a steep grade in a car with standard transmission? (Chpt. 9)
51. What sign indicates that the road that you are on merges with another?
(Chpt. 5)
B-2
B-3
52. What kind of sign warns you that the highest safe speed for the turn
ahead is 25 mph? (Chpt. 5)
53. Describe the sign that tells you to watch for cross traffic ahead. (Chpt.
5)
54. What type of sign warns you that you should slow down for a sharp rise
in the roadway? (Chpt. 5)
55. Describe the type of sign which would let you know that you were on a
short state highway in a city or urban area. (Chpt. 5)
56. What is the maximum number of inches that you may lawfully allow an
object to extend beyond the left fender of your car? (Chpt. 2)
57. Under what conditions must you always stop? (Chpt. 4, 5)
58. What should you do when coming onto a street from a private alley or
driveway? (Chpt. 4)
59. If a child runs into the road 45 to 50 feet ahead of your car, what is the
highest speed from which you can stop with good brakes without hitting him?
(Chpt. 8)
60. How close to a fireplug may a vehicle lawfully park? (Chpt. 7)
61. What does a posted speed limit of 55 mph mean? (Chpt. 5)
62. What is the maximum speed limit for passenger cars on Texas Highway
numbered by this state or United States outside an urban district? (Chpt. 8)
63. Under what circumstances should you never attempt to pass a car
ahead of you? (Chpt. 6)
64. Under what conditions are overtaking and passing to the right not permitted? (Chpt. 6)
65. When a driver is waiting to make a left turn, what is the procedure he
should take when the light turns green? (Chpt. 5, 6)
66. What precautions should a driver take at uncontrolled intersections?
(Chpt. 4)
67. What regulations should a bicycle rider observe? (Chpt. 13)
approaching car? (Chpt. 9)
70. What type of lighting should cars use when parked on the highway at
night? (Chpt. 9)
71. Which lights should you use when you are driving in a fog? (Chpt. 9)
72. When are you required to show proof of financial responsibility?
(Chpt. 3)
73. When needed, how may one show proof of financial responsibility?
(Chpt. 3)
74. What sign warns you that you must slow down? (Chpt. 5)
75. What circumstances may lead to possible loss of your license? (Chpt.
1)
76. In addition to mufflers, what new equipment is required on all cars manufactured in 1968 and after? (Chpt. 2)
77. Why are seat belts important? (Chpt. 14)
78. What is meant by “defensive driving?” (Chpt. 14)
79. What are the different classes of licenses and age requirements for
each? (Chpt. 1)
80. When is a bicyclist not required to ride to the right of the roadway?
(Chpt. 13)
81. When are bicyclists allowed to ride two abreast in a traffic lane?
(Chpt. 13)
82. What are the three most common motorist caused car-bicycle crashes?
(Chpt. 13)
83. What are the penalties for minors (persons under the age of 21) convicted of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol? (Chpt. 10)
84. What are the penalties for minors (persons under the age of 21) convicted of nondriving alcohol-related offenses? (Chpt. 10)
68. Under what conditions should headlights be used? (Chpt. 9)
69. You should dim your lights when you are within how many feet of an
B-4
B-5
STUDY AND REVIEW QUESTIONS
FOR CLASS A AND B OPERATORS
85. What is the maximum speed limit for heavy trucks on the highway at
night? (Chpt. 8)
86. What should you do when going down a steep grade in a heavy vehicle? (Chpt. 9, 15)
87. What should you do when turning right in a vehicle which is too large to
be turned by staying in the proper lane? (Chpt. 15)
88. How can farm tractors meet lighting requirements when operating on
the highway at night? (Chpt. 15)
89. What are the vehicle size and weight requirements for Class A, B, and
C driver licenses (non-CDL)? (Chpt. 1)
90. What should be the first action of the driver of a disabled truck or bus?
(Chpt. 15)
91. Where should flares be placed around a truck when necessary?
(Chpt. 15)
92. What is the required lighting of a semi-trailer 80 inches or more in
width? (Chpt. 15)
93. What are the height limits between which reflectors must be mounted?
(Chpt. 15)
94. What color should clearance lamps, side marker lamps, or reflectors
mounted on or near the front of a vehicle be? (Chpt. 15)
95. What is the greatest height allowed by state law for a vehicle including
its load? (Chpt. 15)
96. What is the greatest weight allowed by state law for any vehicle including its load? (Chpt. 15)
97. What should be the greatest distance between two vehicles when one
vehicle is towing the other? (Chpt. 15)
98. What should you do when hauling equipment that is wider, heavier, or
longer than the law permits? (Chpt. 15)
99. When are turn indicator signals required on a vehicle? (Chpt. 15)
B-6
100. Outside the city limits, what type of vehicle must stop at all railroad
crossings? (Chpt. 15)
101. What types of vehicles are required to have mud flaps? (Chpt. 15)
102. What is the maximum speed limit for a taxicab on a numbered U.S. or
state highway during the day? (Chpt. 8)
103. What is the maximum speed limit for motorbuses at night on numbered
U.S. and state highways? (Chpt. 8)
104. What are the limits on load extensions over the front and rear of vehicles? (Chpt. 15)
105. What is the safest method to use when backing a large truck?
(Chpt. 15)
106. What is the purpose of requiring registration papers on trucks at all
times? (Chpt. 15)
107. All school buses, taxis, and other vehicles hauling passengers for hire
must carry a chemical-type fire extinguisher of at least what capacity?
(Chpt. 15)
108. What are the requirements concerning clearance lights on trucks and
buses? (Chpt. 15)
109. Every trailer, semi-trailer, or pole-trailer must have how many reflectors
on the rear? (Chpt. 15)
110. Mounted reflectors must be at least how many inches above the
ground? (Chpt. 15)
111. Clearance lamps mounted on or near the rear of a vehicle must be what
color? (Chpt. 15)
112. Flashing lights are permitted on what types of vehicles? (Chpt. 15)
113. What is the greatest width ordinarily allowed by state law for a vehicle
on the highway? (Chpt. 15)
114. What usually determines the number of trailers that may ordinarily be
pulled by one vehicle? (Chpt. 15)
115. What is the greatest length ordinarily allowed by state law for any combination of truck and trailer? (Chpt. 15)
B-7
116. What is the minimum weight which a trailer or semi-trailer must have
before the vehicle is required to have brakes that can be applied by the driver? (Chpt. 15)
117. When towing another vehicle with a chain or cable, the flag which is
attached to the chain or cable must be what color? (Chpt. 15)
118. When one truck is following another truck or vehicle it must keep far
enough back to allow how many vehicles to safely enter between them?
(Chpt. 15)
119. When mud flaps are required on a vehicle, they must come within how
many inches of the surface? (Chpt. 15)
120. What are the regulations regarding lugs and flanges on Texas state
highways? (Chpt. 15)
B-8
APPENDIX C
FULL-TIME DRIVER LICENSE OFFICES
Driver License offices are normally open from 8am until 5pm, Monday through
Friday. Some offices offer extended hours in the morning, late afternoon or early
evening. A few offices routinely close during the noon hour. The exact schedule
can be determined by calling the office nearest you. If your city does not appear
on this list of full-time offices, inquire at your local courthouse or city hall about the
location and schedule of a part-time office in your area. (or, you may search by
city or county at the following website:
http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/admininstration/driver_licensing_control/rolodex/
search.asp)
Part-time offices are normally staffed with only one examiner. Depending on the
location, examiners are required to be away from the office part of the day while
they are conducting driving tests and other Department business. It is suggested
that applicants contact a part-time office prior to going in for service in order to
determine the examiner’s work schedule for that particular day.
Abilene
Alice
Alvin
Amarillo
Angleton
Aransas Pass
Arlington
Athens
Atlanta
Austin North
Austin Northwest
Austin South
Bastrop
Bay City
Baytown
Beaumont
Beeville
Big Spring
Boerne
Bonham
Borger
Brenham
Brownfield
Brownsville
Brownwood
Bryan
Canton
325/695-0988
361/664-2113
281/585-4525
806/468-1400
979/849-5711
Ext. 1521
361/758-8680
817/274-1818
903/675-6091
903/796-3301
512/424-2076
512/506-2847
512/444-5241
512/581-7152
979/245-9353
281/424-1339
409/924-5400
361/358-6272
432/267-5671
830/249-6335
903/583-5613
806/273-2453
979/836-2020
806/637-3625
956/983-1920
325/646-0180
979/776-3110
903/567-2346
4649 South First Street
300 South Johnson Street
113 East Sealy
4200 Canyon Drive
501 South Velasco
C-1
913 South Commercial
3901 W Arkansas, Suite 111
511 Hwy 174 West
310 North Louise
6121 North Lamar Blvd.
13730 Research Blvd. (US Hwy 183N)
4719 South Congress
305 Eskew Street
510 Avenue F
5420 Decker Dr
7200 Eastex Freeway
400 South Hillside
5725 IH 20 West
1414 East Blanco, Suite 2
1203 East Sam Rayburn
3429 Fairlanes Blvd.
Highway 290 West
802 North Ballard
2901 Paredes Line
541 Commerce Square
1003 N Earl Rudder Frwy
1601 North Trade Days Blvd
Carthage
903/693-3261
Carrollton
972/245-5800
Cedar Hill
469/272-9301
Center
936/598-6152
Childress
940/937-2560
Clarksville
903/427-2931
Clear Lake Area
281/486-8242
Cleburne
817/202-2650
Cleveland
281/592-5983
Columbus
979/732-3451
Conroe
936/442-2810
Copperas Cove
254/547-9130
Corpus Christi
361/698-5625
Corsicana
903/872-5631
Crosbyton
806-675-2131
Crockett
936/544-5917
Crystal City
830/374-2222
Cuero
361/275-6154
Daingerfield
903-645-2363
Dallas Downtown
214/651-1859
(Renewals only)
Dallas-East
214/553-0033
Dallas-SW
214/330-3958
Decatur
940/627-5694
Del Rio
830/703-1225
Denton
940/484-6666
Denver City
806/592-2873
Dumas
806/935-5058
Duncanville
(Currently closed
Eagle Pass
830/773-5050
Eastland
254/629-8383
Edinburg
956/383-3471
El Paso Northwestern 915/877-1647
El Paso Gateway E.
915/598-3487
El Paso Hondo Pass 915/751-6455
El Paso Scott Simpson 915/849-4100
Floresville
830-393-7216
Fredericksburg
830/997-1932
Fort Worth South
817/294-1075
Gainesville
940/665-3924
Galveston
409/740-0031
Garland
214/861-2125
Gatesville
254/865-2444
Georgetown
512/863-5816
Gilmer
903/797-2751
Gonzales
830/672-3328
Graham
940-549-1490
Grand Prairie
972/264-6598
Courthouse, Room 101
2625 Old Denton Road, Suite 310
116 W Beltline, Suite 2
Hwy 96 South
1700 Ave F NW, Suite A
500 N Cedar
111 Tristar, Webster
600 West Kilpatrick
304 Campbell Rd., Room #123
3229 Columbus Loop
#2 Hilbig Street
201 South 2nd Street Suite 5
1922 South Padre Island Drive
3030 S Hwy 287
215 South Berkshire
1125 E Loop 304
County Courthouse
208 East Live Oak
500 Broadnax
1500 Marilla, 1B, South
11411 East Northwest Highway #111
5610 Red Bird Center, #500
2000 South Trinity
2012 Veterans Blvd.
820 North Loop 288
412 West 5th Street
817 South Bliss Ave.
- new location pending)
32 Foster-Maldonado Blvd
1002 Lago Vista
1212 S 25th
1854 Northwestern
7300 Gateway East
4505 Hondo Pass
11612 Scott Simpson
800 10th Street
125 W Main St
6413 Woodway Drive
206 W California
6812 Broadway
350 West IH 30
606 B Leon Street
515 Pine Street (7th & Pine)
Highway 155 North
1709 Sarah Dewitt Drive
142 Elm
550 S Carrier Pkwy, Suite 570
C-2
Granbury
817/573-7381
Greenville
903/453-6916
Groesbeck
254/729-5554
Harlingen
956/423-4431
Hempstead
979/826-7649
Henderson
903/657-6095
Hereford
806/364-6481
Hillsboro
254/582-5044
Houston-Dacoma
713/683-0541
Houston-Winkler
713/943-0631
Houston-Grant Road 281/890-5440
Houston-S Gessner
713/219-4100
Houston-Tidwell
713/633-9872
Houston-Townhurst
713/465-8462
Houston-Vantage Pkwy281/449-2685
Humble
281/446-3391
Huntsville
936/295-1578
Hurst
817/299-1300
Irving
972/253-4171
Jacksonville
903/586-5631
Jasper
409/384-5712
Katy
281/391-4874
Kerrville
830/258-5750
Killeen
254/634-1919
Kingsville
361/592-1911
Lake Worth
817/238-9197
Laredo
956/728-2301
Levelland
806/894-7026
Lewisville
972/221-8081
Liberty
936/336-7343
Littlefield
806/385-5679
Livingston
936/327-6806
Longview
903/758-1788
Lubbock
806/472-2800
Lufkin
936/699-7331
Marble Falls
830/798-3222
Marshall
903/938-2171
McAllen
956/984-5648
McKinney
214/733-5350
Midland
432/498-2366
Mineral Wells
940/325-0227
Mount Pleasant
903/572-6888
Muleshoe
806/272-3860
Nacogdoches
936/560-5826
New Boston
903/628-6822
New Braunfels
830/625-8111
Odessa
432/332-0637
Orange
409/883-0273
1402 W. Pearl Street
2801 Stuart Street, #408
1221 E Yeagua
1630 North 77 Sunshine Strip
Hwy 290 East
325 Fair Park
303 East 3rd Street
126 S Covington
4545 Dacoma
9206 Winkler
10503 Grant Road
12220 S Gessner
8825 Tidwell
1601 Townhurst
15403 Vantage Pkwy Suite 102
7710 Will Clayton Parkway
501 Interstate 45
624 North East Loop 820
1003 West 6th Street
506 E Pine
U.S. 190 & FM 777
6002 George Bush, #7
311 Sidney Baker Street
302 Priest Drive
Ed Lopez Building
6316 Lake Worth Boulevard
1901 Bob Bullock Loop
1212 Houston Street
190 North Valley Parkway
2103 Cos
100 6th Street Rm B-08
1735 North Washington
416 Lake Lamond
1302 Mac Davis Lane
2809 South John Redditt
810 Steve Hawkins, Courthouse Annex
5215 W Loop 390 N
1414 North Bicentennial
400 Power House
2405 South Loop 250 West
600 FM 1821 North
1906 N. Jefferson
300 South First St
5407 Northwest Stalling
710 James Bowie
3003 IH-35 West
1910 IH 20 West
U.S. 87 at 105
C-3
Palestine
Pampa
Paris
Pasadena
Perryton
Pierce
Plainview
Plano
Port Arthur
Port Lavaca
Quitman
Rio Grande City
Rockwall
903/661-5030
806/665-7160
903/784-3800
713/473-3232
806/435-4642
979/541-4590
806/293-2508
972/867-4221
409/982-1131
361/552-5046
903/763-4212
956/716-4844
972/771-1691
1900 Spring
2909 Perryton Parkway
2885 North Main
2731 Red Bluff
101 S.W. 4th St., W.M. Good Building
16192 Hwy 59
1108 South Columbia
2109 West Parker Road, Suite 224
900 4th Street
201 West Austin
Courthouse Annex, 211 B Bermuda
100 FM 3167 Suite 218
Rockwall County, Annex Bldg
111 Ridge Road
5505 Avenue N
1600 West Loop 306
1258 Babcock Road
6502 South New Braunfels
Rosenberg
281/663-5424
San Angelo
325/223-6903
San Antonio Babcock 210/737-1911
San Antonio
210/533-9171
S. New Braunfels
San Antonio
210/436-6611
S. General McMullen
San Marcos
512/353-2770
Seguin
830/379-6802
Sherman
903/813-3420
Sinton
361/364-1956
Snyder
325/573-5631
Stephenville
254/965-7894
Sulphur Springs
903/885-7871
Taylor
512/352-4160
Temple
254/770-6734
Terrell
972/551-6050
Texarkana
903/793-1653
Texas City
409/938-3565
Tyler
903/939-6014
Universal City
210/945-1900
Uvalde
830/278-5630
Vernon
940/552-6372
Victoria
361/578-3450
Waco
254/759-7121
Waxahachie
972/937-5370
Weatherford
817/599-7631
Weslaco
956/968-2722
Wichita Falls
940/851-6066
Wallisville
409/389-2491
Woodville
409/283-7757
1803 South General McMullen
1400 IH-35 North
1440 East Kingsbury
1413 Texoma Parkway
301 North Vineyard
909 25th Street, Ste. 103
U.S. 281 South
1528 E Shannon Roa
412 Vance
6612 S General Bruce Drive
111 Tejas Drive
1516 Hampton Road
1325 Amburn Road
4700 University Blvd.
1633 Pat Booker Road
2901 East Main Street
1700 Wilbarger B-6
8802 North Navarro
1617 East Crest Drive
902 E. Jefferson
1309 South Bowie Drive
413 South Oregon
5505 North Central Expressway
20906 IH-10
1001 West Bluff
C-4
C-5
MESS WITH
TEXAS.
PAY THE PRICE.
Don’t Mess
With Texas
UP TO
$2,000 FINE
FOR LITTERING
To Report Information On
Missing Persons Contact:
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
BOX 4087 AUSTIN TX 78773-0422
MISSING PERSONS
CLEARINGHOUSE
1-800-346-3243
(IN TEXAS)
To save money on your insurance, call for your
free Auto Insurance Rate Guide and Automobile
Insurance Made Easy booklet or visit our Web site.
1-800-599-SHOP (7467)
http://www.tdi.state.tx.us
Can’t buy auto insurance? Call now!
1-800-799-MAPP (6277)
Texas Department of Insurance
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