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SB 2041 Requires Driver’s License Test Takers to
Demonstrate Knowledge of Motorist Responsibilities to Cyclists
Passed, signed by the Governor. This law (SB 2041) requires “an applicant for a driver’s license to demonstrate knowledge of motorists’ rights and responsibilities in relation to bicyclists.” The Department of Public Safety will add questions about bicyclists to the driver’s license exam, which will result in this information being taught in driver’s education classes.This will go a long way towards educating motorists and cyclists how to better share the road.
For cyclists who must share the road with cars every day, this bill is a giant leap forward in raising awareness with motorists that bicycles have a right to be on the road. Cyclists have long wanted a law like this, and we appreciate Senator Rodney Ellis for authoring the bill. SB 2041 will also help get the word out to motorists about Safe Passing, if and when it becomes law.
By: Ellis, Carona
S.B. No. 2041
relating to requiring an applicant for a driver’s license to demonstrate knowledge of motorists’ rights and responsibilities in relation to bicyclists.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Sections 521.161(b) and (c), Transportation Code, are amended to read as follows:
(b) The examination must include:
(1) a test of the applicant’s:
(B) ability to identify and understand highway signs in English that regulate, warn, or direct traffic; [and]
(C) knowledge of the traffic laws of this state; and
(D) knowledge of motorists’ rights and responsibilities in relation to bicyclists;
(2) a demonstration of the applicant’s ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motor vehicle of the type that the applicant will be licensed to operate; and
(3) any additional examination the department finds necessary to determine the applicant’s fitness to operate a motor vehicle safely.
(c) The department shall give each applicant the option of taking the parts [traffic law and highway sign part] of the examination under Subsections (b) (1) (B), (C), and (D) in writing in addition to or instead of through a mechanical, electronic, or other testing method. If the applicant takes that part of the examination in writing in addition to another testing method, the applicant is considered to have passed that part of the examination if the applicant passes either version of the examination. The department shall inform each person taking the examination of the person’s rights under this subsection.
SECTION 2. A driver’s license examination administered by the Department of Public Safety is not required to include a question required by Section 521.161(b)(1)(D), Transportation Code, as added by this Act, if the examination is administered before February 1, 2010.
SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.