Texas Coalition

We are a Coalition of more than 100 individuals and organizations committed to helping teens leverage the proven principles of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL). We are affiliated with state and local government, law enforcement and public health agencies, traffic safety and injury prevention organizations, schools, universities and businesses. We’re also teens, parents and crash victims.

While teen crashes and fatalities had fallen to record lows in Texas and nationwide, rates began to grow again in 2015. Our goal is zero – no crashes, injuries or fatalities. Ensuring that teens survive their most dangerous driving years is not just the responsibility of parents, police and school officials, but every citizen. Working collectively, our Coalition members are implementing teen safe driving initiatives to focus on 3 top factors contributing to teen crashes in Texas: speed, inattention and seat belt use.

Led by Russell Henk, Program Director of Teens in the Driver's Seat, our Coalition is working collaboratively to effect change in Texas. We invite you to learn about Coalition initiatives and to join us. There are no monthly meetings or membership dues; your only obligation is to help spread the word about GDL.



AAA Texas Our Driving Concern
Alliance on Underage Drinking Our Lady of the Lake University
Allstate Round Rock Police Department
All Stop Driving Academy SADD
ANP Driving School Safe Kids Mid-Texas
City of Austin SafeWay Driving 
City of Denton Scott & White Injury Prevention - Central Texas
Commercial Texas Driver Training Stay Safe Driving School
Dallas Area Drug Prevention Partnership Teen Watch Alert
Danger Without Intentions Teens in the Driver Seat
Department of State and Health Services TeenSafe Program
East Texas Driving School Texans Standing Tall
ESC Region 6 Texas Department of State Health Services, Title V  
ESC Region 13 Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Extra Credit! LLC Texas Alive Team
Georgetown ISD Driver Education Texas Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association
GP Driving School Texas FCCLA
Greater Austin Underage Drinking Council Texas Municipal Courts Education Center
Hempstead High School Texas Professional Driver Education Association
Hutto High School FCCLA / TAFE Texas PTA
Injury Prevention Center of Greater Dallas Texas Reality Education for Drivers (RED) Program
Kingdom Business Texas State University
Lake Worth High School Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
Richard Lusby Texas Department of Transportation
MADD Travis County Sheriff Department
Memorial Herman Medical Center Trauma/EMS The Driving Professor
Northeast ISD Driver Education University Medical Center Brackenridge, Trauma Services 
North Richland Hills Police Department Williamson County LifeSteps Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition      


Practice Driving with your Teen Sticker Campaign 

More than 14 types of fast-food establishments totaling 60 across the state distributed 28,500 stickers with customer receipts on March 18, 2015. The Coalition is set to reprise the sticker campaign in 2016, with the goal of reaching a wider audience (60,000), to include civic organization participants and driving school clients.  

Parent Initiative

This 2016 campaign has 3 levels of engagement: (1) distribution of a bilingual brochure which focuses on the GDL law in Texas, and a brochure to invite parents and teens to learn about GDL; (2) offering existing groups of parents 5-minute presentations with the most critical steps parents can take to help keep their new teen drivers safe; and (3) facilitating “Steer Your Teen Down the Right Road” presentations, for download at DriveitHOME.org or by thumb drive.   

Teen Initiative

Teen members of the Coalition, working with leaders in schools and through the Texas Department of Transportation, have taken the lead in reaching peers on the importance of teen safe driving in 2016. Steps include presentations to school boards, to other high schools, to parents and teens, using PowerPoints, handouts, word-of-mouth, social media and more regarding distracted driving. Teen leaders’ advice: When events – like National Night Out or Carnivals – happen, and there's an opportunity to present, make it fun. A presentation example: Students played the song “Red Solo Cup” and offered teens red Solo cups full of root beer. The cup became a prop to suggest to the group, “At your next party, when handed one of these, think twice before filling it with something life threatening.”

Safety Poster Contest

Students created posters in 2015 to encourage peers to be safe on the road, using the proven principles of Graduated Driver Licensing as guidelines. Students won grants for their schools and became eligible to display their work on the DriveitHOME.org website. 

Anti-Crash Bash 

The Coalition hosts a biennial Anti-Crash Bash bringing together members, community and outside resources for a one-day event focused on reducing teen crashes in Texas. The Dell Diamond hosted the 2014 Bash during a Round Rock Express baseball game. The event reached 350 people who attended the Bash in addition to the game attendees who heard the PSA.  It also engaged 28 volunteers and 13 different safe driving organizations.  A venue in North Texas has proposed a 2016 event in June. Visit this page often for updates!

Medical Provider Packets 

The Coalition offers this free digital resource to help coaches and adult advisors partner with teens and their parents to promote greater understanding of and adherence to the provisions of the GDL program. The 4-page document includes an overview of how and why GDL works; suggestions for engaging athletes, parents and fans; and a sample code of conduct.

GDL Game Plan for Coaches

The GDL Game Plan for Coaches is a vehicle for high school and recreational or travel league coaches to hold an open dialog with athletes about enforcing and adhering to GDL laws in their state. The 4-page document includes an overview of how and why the New York GDL program works; offers suggestions for engaging athletes, parents and fans; outlines a sample code of conduct; and lists online resources. Information for coaches, athletes and parents about the Coaches Game Plan – including sample text for a GDL Student-Athlete Code of Conduct. The PDFs are available for download below.


What is the Graduated Driver License program?

First implemented in Michigan and Florida in the mid-1990s, Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) is a three-step system designed to provide novice drivers with the necessary tools to be safe on our roadways and minimize those things that cause them the greatest risk of crash -- distraction caused by passengers and the use of cell phones and other electronic devices, as well as driving late at night and riding unbelted. There is a minimum age for teens to be eligible for a driver's permit, a mandatory holding period or probationary license and a basic or full license. 

What does Texas's GDL program entail?

Young Texas drivers must:

  • Be 15 years old to obtain a permit
  • Complete 30 hours of supervised driving - 10 of which must be at night - before obtaining an intermediate, or restricted, license at age 16
  • Not drive unsupervised between midnight and 5 a.m., when a teen's crash risk is highest
  • Not carry more than one passenger under 21
  • Not use a wireless device (including hands-free) until the age of 18.
  • Be 18 to obtain a full, unrestricted license

Why does Texas need a GDL program?

Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens, and their crash risk is four times that of an experienced driver. The risk is highest when teens are in the first 12 to 24 months of licensure.

The “License to Save” report issued by The Allstate Foundation in December 2011 estimates that 15,340 people in Texas have been killed in teen-related motor vehicle crashes since 1991. It also estimates that 757 lives have been saved since 1991 with Texas' implementation of GDL laws. The implementation of GDL programs has saved approximately 14,820 lives nationwide since 1991. It is proven to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes involving teen drivers.

Why are passengers dangerous for teen drivers?

Most teen crashes involve some form of distraction, and young passengers are particularly distracting to novice drivers. A teen driver is twice as likely to be killed in a crash while carrying just one passenger, regardless of whether the passenger is a friend of a sibling. Carrying two passengers increases crash risk by 158 percent, and three passengers increases risk by 207 percent.

Why is nighttime driving risky for teen drivers?

Forty percent of all teen driver fatal crashes occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. While Texas does not allow teens on the roadways after midnight or before 5 a.m., parents are encouraged to set earlier times for their teens to be off the roads.

May teen drivers use hands-free cell phones?

No. Texas bans cell phone use – hands-free or handheld – for drivers under 18. Research clearly shows that both handheld and hands-free devices cause manual, cognitive and visual distraction and the National Safety Council and the National Transportation Safety Board have called for a nationwide ban on all cell phone use while driving for all motorists regardless of age.

How can I help a teen driver gain more experience?

Research clearly shows that GDL programs are the most effective tool for addressing teen crash risk because they help novice drivers build skill while minimizing risk. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, coach, older sibling, neighbor or friend, learning about and enforcing the GDL program is important.

Parents in particular play a critical role in teen driver safety. Teens who report having parents that set rules and monitor their activities in a helpful and supportive way are half as likely to crash, 71 percent less likely to drive intoxicated, 30 percent less likely to use a cell phone while driving and 50 percent more likely to wear a safety belt. By partnering with parents, you can help to ensure that they know about and leverage the proven principles of GDL so their teens gain skill and become good drivers for life.


Texas Websites

Parent Teen Agreement

Texas GDL Program


National Websites

National Safety Council


The Allstate Foundation

Impact Teen Drivers

DCH Teen Safe Driver program - for parents and teens

Center for Disease Control - Teen Drivers

IIHS - Highway Loss Data Institute

AAA Keys2Drive for parents and teens

Safe Kids - for parents and teens 13/14-years of age

SADD - for parents, teens and educators

National Organizations for Youth Safety for parents, teens and educators

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - for parents, teens and educators



More events coming soon!

Contact Us

To join in the conversation, you can follow the Coalition on Facebook.
To learn more about Texas Teen Safe Driving Coalition initiatives or to become a member, please contact Coalition Leader Russell Henk at [email protected].

GDL Poster Contest

Entries for the 2015 Texas Teen Safe Driving Coalition GDL Poster Contest closed at 11:59 PM on March 31st. All submitted entries are currently being judged. The winning entries will be announced on April 30th. Thank you to all who entered and best of luck!

Sticker Campaign: Thank You!

On March 18th, 2015 the Texas Teen Safe Driving Coalition was able to distribute 28,500 stickers to Texans across the state. This great feat would not have been possible without the help of the following restaurants and employees that distributed our stickers for us. Thank you so much for helping keep teens, parents, and all of us safe on the road!

Participating restaurants:

Sonic- Robinson Drive- Robinson

Sonic- Sixth Street- Waco

Sonic- Texas Avenue- Bryan

Sonic- Bellmead Drive- Bellmead

Sonic- Central Avenue- Belton

Sonic- Briarcrest Drive- Bryan

Sonic- 401 Texas Avenue- College Station

Sonic- 2900 Texas Avenue- College Station

Sonic- Travis Avenue- Cameron

Sonic- TX Highway 36- Caldwell

Sonic- Highway 190- Copperas Cove

Sonic- Main Street- Gatesville

Sonic- Ellis Street- Groesbeck

Sonic- Market Street- Hearne

Sonic- Hewitt Drive- Woodway

Sonic- Rancier Avenue- Killeen

Sonic- Key Avenue- Lampasas

Sonic- Milam Street- Mexia

Sonic- Main Street- Madisonville

Sonic- Cameron Avenue- Rockdale

Sonic- 57th Street- Temple

Sonic- 19th Street- Waco

Sonic- WS Young Drive- Killeen

Sonic- Interstate 35 Frontage Road- Waco

Sonic- Valley Mills Drive- Waco

Sonic- Robertson Road- Salado

Sonic- Wallace Street- San Saba

Sonic- McGregor Drive- McGregor

Sonic- North Frontage Road- Lorena

Sonic- John David Drive- Killeen

Sonic- West Adams Avenue- Temple

Sonic- China Spring Road- Waco

Sonic- West Oak Street- West

Sonic- Oakmark Drive- Belton

Sonic- Stan Schlueter Loop- Killeen

Sonic- Bagby Avenue- Waco

Chic-fil-A- Southwest Drive- Abilene

Burger King- Clack Drive- Abilene

Arby's- Clack Drive- Abilene

Sonic- Clack Drive- Abilene

Sonic- Buffalo Gap Road- Abilene

Sonic- Judge Ely Boulevard- Abilene

Golden Chick- State Highway 351- Abilene

Sonic- Early Boulevard- Early

Chicken Express- Early Boulevard- Early

Dairy Queen- Austin Avenue- Brownwood

Cici's Pizza- US-59- Porter

Pete's Burger Place- TX 494 Loop- Porter

La Casita- FM 1314- Porter

Hypnotic Donuts- Garland Road- Dallas

DUGG Burger- Garland Road- Dallas

Keller's- Garland Road- Dallas

McDonald's- Garland Road- Dallas

Sonic- Buckner Boulevard- Dallas

Sonic- Austin Avenue- Georgetown

Sonic- Williams Drive- Georgetown

Golden Chick- FM 685- Hutto

McDonald's- Highway 79- Hutto

Chick-fil-A- Limestone Commercial Drive- Pflugerville

Sonic- West Young Street- Llano