Texas Teenagers May Be Taught Police Stop Response

Teenagers in Texas may be required to learn how to interact with police during traffic stops.

"I think it's a very good idea," said driving instructor Tina Young, at the Austin Driving School in White Settlement. "I think more young teenagers need to know what they need to be doing when a cop stops them."

State Sen. John Whitmore, a Democrat from Houston, is making the proposal, which would direct the Texas State Board of Education to establish rules for the lessons and would also address what to do if detained.

The curriculum would be mandatory for all ninth graders in Texas.

Students at the Austin Driving School already learn what to do if pulled over by police, which includes keeping both hands on the wheel, following the officer's instructions and staying in the car unless instructed to get out.

"If we get pulled over I think it's good that we know what to do, and if we do anything wrong we don't go to jail or anything," said Jaylin Ross, of Fort Worth.

Parents picking up their children after Thursday night's driving class also supported the proposal.

"So many day-to-day activities that kids don't get taught in school can certainly be helpful in a situation that catches them totally by surprise," said Kevin Middleton, of Fort Worth.

State Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, has proposed something similar, requiring instructions be included in the Texas Driver Handbook and training materials for police cadets.

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