Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 432
By: Driver
Public Safety


In 1998, 348 Texas teens between 15 and 18 years of age were killed in
motor vehicle traffic accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA), sixteen-year-old drivers have crash rates
three times that of seventeen-year-old drivers.  To reduce crash rates,
NHTSA encourages easing young drivers into progressively more difficult
driving situations through the implementation of a graduated driver
licensing system.  House Bill 432 modifies current law to incorporate
components of the graduated driver licensing system into the current
provisions for driver's licenses. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


House Bill 432 amends the Transportation Code to prohibit the Department of
Public Safety from issuing a Class A, B, or C driver's license other than a
hardship license to an applicant under 18 years of age unless the applicant
has held an instruction permit or hardship license for at least six months
preceding the date of the application, and submits a document, signed by
the applicant's parent or guardian or by an authorized driver education
instructor, stating that the applicant has completed specified driver

During the six month period following issuance of an original driver's
license, the bill prohibits a person under 18 years of age from operating a
motor vehicle after 11 p.m. and before 5 a.m. unless operation of the
vehicle is necessary for the operator to attend or participate in
employment or school, or because of a medical emergency.  The bill also
prohibits such a person from operating a motor vehicle with a passenger
under 21 years of age in the vehicle, unless the passenger is a sibling of
the operator, and transportation of the passenger is authorized by the
parent or guardian of the operator.  The bill increases from 18 to 21 the
minimum age of a person who is required to accompany an instruction permit
holder while the holder operates a motor vehicle on a highway. 


September 1, 2001.