WSR 04-19-149

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING


[ Filed September 22, 2004, 10:11 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Exempt from preproposal statement of inquiry under RCW 34.05.310(4).

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Driver training school program -- Administration and enforcement.

Hearing Location(s): Highways-Licenses Building, Conference Room 413, 1125 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA, on October 26, 2004, at 2:00 p.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: October 27, 2004.

Submit Written Comments to: Clark J. Holloway, P.O. Box 9030, Olympia, WA 98507-9030, e-mail cholloway@dol.wa.gov, fax (360) 586-8351, by October 25, 2004.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Clark J. Holloway by October 25, 2004, TTY (360) 664-0116.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: Establishes basic requirements governing the operations and scope of traffic safety education programs that are offered by commercial businesses and licensed by the department. Updates and makes conforming amendments to WAC 308-108-100.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Under RCW 46.82.290(2), the department is authorized to adopt rules regarding the administration and enforcement of state laws regarding the licensing of commercial driver training schools. These proposed rules are necessary to set basic requirements necessary to ensure that driver training offered by driver training schools adequately prepares new drivers to operate motor vehicles safely.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 46.82.290.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 46.82 RCW.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Department of Licensing, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Clark Holloway, Highways-Licenses Building, Olympia, Washington, (360) 902-3846; Implementation and Enforcement: Denise Movius, Highways-Licenses Building, Olympia, Washington, (360) 902-3850.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. A small business economic impact statement is not required pursuant to RCW 19.85.030 (1)(a). In addition, all businesses licensed under chapter 46.82 RCW are small businesses that are treated equally under the rules, so there is no disproportionate impact on small businesses.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to these proposed rules under the provisions of RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a)(i).

September 22, 2004

Denise M. Movius

Assistant Director


NEW SECTION
WAC 308-108-010   Promulgation -- Authority.   Pursuant to RCW 46.82.290(2), this chapter is promulgated for the purpose of establishing basic requirements governing the operations and scope of traffic safety education programs that are offered by commercial businesses, and includes policies and practices for monitoring and ensuring the ongoing quality of the commercial driver training program.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 308-108-020   Definitions.   The definitions of this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

(1) "Behind the wheel instruction" means that portion of a traffic safety education course that consists of on-street, dual-controlled vehicle operation or similar instruction given under simulated conditions. Behind the wheel instruction is characterized by driving experience.

(2) "Branch office" means a facility within a thirty-five mile radius of a driver training school's established place of business that has been approved by the department for use by the driver training school.

(3) "Classroom" means a space dedicated to and used exclusively by a driver training instructor for the instruction of students. With prior department approval, a branch office classroom may be located within a public or private library, school, community college, college or university, or a business training facility.

(4) "Classroom instruction" means that portion of a traffic safety education course that is characterized by classroom-based student instruction conducted by or under the direct supervision of a licensed instructor or licensed instructors.

(5) "Driver training school" means a commercial business offering instruction in the operation of automobiles for a fee:

(a) To any person for the purpose of securing traffic safety education prior to applying for a basic driver's license; and/or

(b) For the enhancement of an experienced driver's knowledge, skill, and ability.

(6) "Instructor-trainer" means a currently licensed instructor who has not less than one thousand hours or five years of previous experience in providing traffic safety education and who is training driving instructors.

(7) "Owner" means a person or group that has a financial interest in a driver training school.

(8) "Student" means any person enrolled in a traffic safety education course for which a fee is paid.

(9) "Traffic safety education" means a course of instruction in the operation of automobiles that consists of two phases, classroom instruction and behind the wheel instruction. Each phase must meet basic course requirements established by the department.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 308-108-080   Instructor's license -- Application -- Background check and fingerprint check.   (1) Unless waived by the department under the provisions of RCW 46.82.325(3), an applicant for an instructor's license must complete a criminal background check, including a fingerprint check, at the time of:

(a) Initial application; and

(b) A re-qualification examination required under RCW 46.82.320(1).

(2) The department shall review the instructor's license applicant's complete abstract of driving record at the time of each initial and renewal application. For purposes of RCW 46.82.330 (3)(a):

(a) A moving traffic violation is an offense listed as a moving violation in WAC 308-104-160. The department will determine the number of moving traffic violations received by an applicant within a given time period based on the date(s) that the violation(s) occurred.

(b) An alcohol-related traffic violation will be deemed to have occurred if within the three-year period immediately preceding the time of application an alcohol-related traffic incident occurred that resulted in:

(i) A conviction or finding that a traffic infraction was committed for violation of RCW 46.61.502, 46.61.503, 46.61.504, 46.61.519, 46.61.5195, 46.61.520 (1)(a), 46.61.522 (1)(b), or 46.20.5249, or a substantially similar law, administrative regulation, local law, ordinance, regulation, or resolution of a political subdivision of this state, the federal government, or any other state;

(ii) An administrative action imposed under RCW 46.20.3101;

(iii) An administrative action imposed under RCW 46.25.090 (1)(a), (b), or (e); or

(iv) Entry into a deferred prosecution agreement for an alcohol-dependency based case.

(c) A driver's license suspension, cancellation, revocation, or denial will be deemed to exist within the preceding three years if any such suspension, cancellation, revocation, or denial has been in effect at any time within the three-year period immediately preceding the time of application.

(3) The instructor's license applicant must submit satisfactory evidence of completion of the required sixty hours of instruction in the training of drivers at time of initial application.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 308-108-090   Instruction in the training of drivers.   (1) The sixty-hour course of instruction in the training of drivers required under RCW 46.82.330 (3)(d) shall include instruction in driver education classroom methods and principles that prepare an instructor to provide traffic safety education as described in these rules and in state law.

(2) The instruction course must:

(a) Be provided by:

(i) An institution of higher learning accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges or by an accrediting association recognized by the higher education board;

(ii) A licensed private vocational school as that term is defined by RCW 28C.10.020(7); or

(iii) An instructor-trainer.

(b) Consist of:

(i) Not less than twelve hours of instruction in behind the wheel teaching methods;

(ii) Not less than six hours of supervised practice behind the wheel teaching of driving techniques;

(iii) Not less than thirty hours of approved instruction in each of the following areas:

(A) Education or special education;

(B) Driver education teacher skills training;

(C) Classroom teaching techniques; and

(D) Communication skills; and

(iv) Not less than twelve hours of instruction that shall prepare the instructor to:

(A) Communicate the concepts of driving and traffic safety to others;

(B) Demonstrate educational methods, theories and concepts in teaching a driver education course, and knowledge of all aspects of the driving task;

(C) Develop instructional materials and activities that aid student learning and performance

(D) Define and describe the nature of the driving task on public highways;

(E) Establish and maintain classroom organization;

(F) Manage enrollment, student scheduling, student records, and required reports; and

(G) Plan a course of student instruction with outlines, lesson plans, and student performance evaluation tools.

(3) Not less than thirty days prior to any instructor training being conducted by an instructor-trainer, the instructor-trainer or owner of the driver training school where the instructor-trainer is employed shall submit a course curriculum for department review and approval.

(4) Any revision to the instructor training course curriculum used by an instructor-trainer must be submitted for review and approval by the department.

(5) The department may consider other academic instruction in lieu of that listed in subsection (2)(b) of this section.

(6) The department may monitor instructor education courses at any time to ensure that the instructor training requirements of this section are being satisfied.

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AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 91-01-063, filed 12/14/90)

WAC 308-108-100   ((Driver training schools -- ))Place of business -- Classroom space.   ((In order to comply with the business practices relating to place of business provided for in RCW 46.82.360, a driver training school must meet the requirements of this section.))

(1) ((No)) The place of business ((shall be established nor any business)) of a driver training school:

(a) Shall not be established nor any business of a driver training school conducted or solicited within one thousand feet of an office building owned or leased by the department of licensing in which examinations for driver's licenses are conducted. The distance of one thousand feet shall be measured along the public streets by the nearest route from the place of business to such building. If the department establishes an office in which examinations for driver's licenses are conducted within one thousand feet of a driver training school's existing location, the driver training school may continue operations in such location until there is a change in school ownership, or the license to operate is not renewed or is revoked for cause.

(b) Shall be regularly occupied and used exclusively for the business of giving driver instruction. Regularly occupied means that the public and the department can expect to make contact with the school owner or its staff or instructors at the main office during its business hours; and

(c) Meet all applicable requirements of chapter 46.82 RCW.

(2) A driver training school's classroom space shall:

(a) Provide sufficient seating and table or desk space for all students enrolled in each class;

(b) Be properly equipped with all other equipment necessary for student training and instruction purposes; and

(c) Use walls, partitions, or separate scheduling of classroom and office activities if the classroom shares a single space with the driver training school office in order to mitigate student distraction or disruption of the instruction.

((A driver training school shall have an established place of business owned, rented, or leased by the school and regularly occupied and used exclusively for the business of giving driver instruction.

(3) A driver training school established, or a driver training school establishing a new location, after July 23, 1989, shall be located in a district that is zoned for business or commercial purposes. The established place of business, branch office, or classroom or advertised address of any such driver training school shall not consist of or include a house trailer, residence, tent, temporary stand, temporary address, bus, telephone answering service if such service is the sole means of contacting the driver training school, a room or rooms in a hotel or rooming house or apartment house, or premises occupied by a single or multiple-unit dwelling house. This subsection shall not be construed as limiting the authority of local governments to grant conditional use permits or variances from zoning ordinances.))

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.01.110. 91-01-063, 308-108-100, filed 12/14/90, effective 1/14/91.]


NEW SECTION
WAC 308-108-110   Traffic safety education vehicles.   (1) All vehicles used for student instruction by a commercial driver training school shall:

(a) Carry a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and emergency strobe light or reflective triangles;

(b) Pass an annual inspection meeting minimum equipment and safety criteria established by the department that has been conducted by or for the school owner; and

(c) Be used exclusively for driver training purposes at all times when student instruction is being given.

(2) Records of all traffic safety education vehicles used by a commercial driver training school shall:

(a) Be maintained at the school's primary place of business; and

(b) Include the original insurance policy or policies covering the vehicles and copies of the current vehicle registrations.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 308-108-120   Administration.   (1) The driver training school's license and all instructor certificates shall be posted in a conspicuous place at the location where instruction takes place. The school license must be posted before:

(a) Enrolling any students in a course of instruction;

(b) Issuing a verification of enrollment to any student; and

(c) Any classroom or behind the wheel instruction begins.

(2) Each driver training school shall adopt a written policy that includes, but is not limited to:

(a) Enrollment criteria;

(b) Student fees and student fee refunds;

(c) Course failures and course repeats; and

(d) The minimum and maximum course duration.

(3) Driver training school owners and instructors shall maintain individual student records on forms provided by the department or on substantially similar forms that have been approved by the department. Student records shall document for each student:

(a) Course attendance;

(b) Instruction starting and ending dates and times;

(c) Classroom and behind the wheel progress and time involvement or flowchart;

(d) Performance evaluation results; and

(e) The name of the instructor who provided each classroom and behind the wheel training session in which the student participated.

(4) Student records must be maintained by a driver training school for the past five years.

(5) Driver training school records, including but not limited to the school's written curriculum guide, insurance policies, collision or injury reports, traffic safety education vehicle registration records, and records of any traffic violations committed by an instructor employed by the school, must be maintained by a driver training school for the past three years.

(6) Upon the sale or other transfer of a school by its owner, the school and student records shall be transferred to the new owner and become the property and responsibility of the new owner.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 308-108-130   Inspection and review.   (1) The department may require that a driver training school owner submit to an inspection or review of the school's operations and records at any time during regular business hours.

(2) Records shall be immediately available for inspection at a driver training school's primary place of business. Branch office records not immediately available for inspection must be made available for inspection within forty-eight hours following a request for review by the department.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 308-108-140   Reporting requirements.   All driver training school owners shall:

(1) Report to the department within thirty days any driving or traffic-related incidents involving an instructor employed by the school, including but not limited to:

(a) Conviction for a traffic violation;

(b) Finding that a traffic infraction has been committed;

(c) Entry into a deferred prosecution agreement; or

(d) Suspension, revocation, cancellation, or denial of driving privileges.

(2) Report to the department within twenty-four hours following any traffic safety education vehicle involved in a traffic collision for which an accident report must be or has been made under the provisions of RCW 46.52.030.

(3) Forward to the department a monthly report of student participation in and completion of traffic safety education courses provided by the school, including but not limited to:

(a) The start date and end date of any courses provided by the school that are completed during the reporting period, including the total number of students enrolled in each course;

(b) The names and certificate numbers of all instructors providing classroom and/or behind the wheel instruction for each course;

(c) The names and instruction permit or driver's license numbers of all students enrolled in each course, along with the issue date and identifying number of the traffic safety education certificate issued to each student upon successful completion of the course.

(4) Forward to the department a report of the annual inspection of each traffic safety education vehicle conducted under WAC 308-108-110 (1)(b). The driver training school owner must maintain a copy of the report in the school's records.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 308-108-150   Curriculum schedule.   A driver training school may offer classroom and behind the wheel instruction to students throughout the year.

(1) Classroom and behind the wheel instruction must be complementary. This means that classroom instruction is augmented in a timely manner by behind the wheel instruction.

(2) Students under age eighteen shall complete no more than two hours of classroom instruction and no more than one hour of behind the wheel instruction and one hour of driver observation during any single day.

(3) For purposes of meeting the traffic safety education requirement of RCW 46.20.100, instruction for students under the age of eighteen must:

(a) Include not less than thirty hours of classroom instruction; and

(b) Meet the behind the wheel instruction and observation requirements of WAC 308-108-160.

(4) Classroom and behind the wheel instruction must be provided in a course that is scheduled for not less than thirty days and not more than twenty-six contiguous weeks in length.

(5) Student enrollment in a class may be open for no later than the second class session after the start date of a traffic safety education course. Once enrollment is closed, no new students may be enrolled in that traffic safety education course or participate in the classroom instruction or behind the wheel instruction and observation for that course.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 308-108-160   Behind the wheel instruction and observation.   Instruction provided to students under the age of eighteen must include:

(1) Behind the wheel instruction consisting of:

(a) Four or more hours of on-street behind the wheel vehicle operation under the direct supervision and direction of a licensed instructor; or

(b) Three or more hours of on-street behind the wheel vehicle operation and four or more hours of driving simulation instruction under the direct supervision and direction of a licensed instructor; and

(2) One or more hours of additional in-vehicle driver observation.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 308-108-170   Ensuring student accomplishment.   (1) Each driver training school must have a written curriculum guide available to each instructor and such guide shall be used for student instruction.

(2) At a minimum, all students under the age of eighteen must receive instruction according to the student curriculum as approved by the driver instructors' advisory committee.

(3) If authorized by the department in advance of their use, a driver training school and its instructors may use resource materials, learning tools, and programs in addition to student instruction given in a classroom setting.

(4) In order to satisfactorily complete a school's driver training course, all students under the age of eighteen must pass a comprehensive driving knowledge and skills test or tests meeting standards established by the department.

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NEW SECTION
WAC 308-108-180   Disciplinary action -- Term of license denial, suspension, or revocation -- Public notice of actions taken.   (1) Licensee responsibilities:

(a) School owners and instructors are responsible for knowing and complying with the requirements of chapter 46.82 RCW and rules promulgated under that chapter.

(b) Any failure to comply with these requirements may lead to disciplinary action affecting an applicant's or licensee's privileges to be licensed or to otherwise operate a commercial driver training school and/or to provide classroom and behind the wheel instruction.

(2) For purposes of consistently administering RCW 46.82.350 and 46.82.360, the department will use the following guidelines for determining the length of license denial, suspension, or revocation of a driver training school or instructor:

(a) Permanent revocation or denial of a license for conviction of a sexual offense involving a minor;

(b) Revocation or denial of a license for ten years for conviction of a felony, when the felony is related to the activity for which the person is seeking licensure;

(c) Except as otherwise provided in subsections (2)(a) and (2)(b) of this section, revocation or denial of a license for one year for conviction of a felony, crime of violence, dishonesty, deceit, indecency, degeneracy, or moral turpitude;

(d) Revocation or denial of a license for one year for:

(i) Falsification, fraud, or deceit in connection with an original or renewal license or application;

(ii) Fraudulent business practices;

(iii) Fraud or inducement to commit fraud in order to obtain a driver's license; or

(iv) Failure to secure and maintain liability insurance;

(e) Suspension or denial of a license for not less than one hundred eighty days nor more than one year for:

(i) Allowing or conducting unlicensed classroom or behind the wheel instruction, except when under the direct supervision and in the presence of an approved instructor-trainer.

(ii) Failing to satisfactorily adhere to and utilize all required classroom and behind the wheel concepts;

(iii) Failing to maintain or submit student and school records as required by the department; or

(iv) Failing to submit to an inspection or technical assistance visit by the department;

(f) Suspension or denial of a license for ninety days for:

(i) Violating vehicle equipment and signage requirements;

(ii) Instructing a student who is not in possession of a valid instruction permit or driver's license;

(iii) Prohibited advertising;

(iv) Doing business or providing instruction in a prohibited or unlicensed location; or

(v) Instructing or training on a department of licensing driver license testing route;

(g) Suspension or denial of a license for no more than thirty days:

(i) For failing to display the school or instructor license or licenses, or the required minimum curriculum; or

(ii) For failing to satisfy the other conditions of these rules or of chapter 46.82 RCW.

(3) The department may stay all or any portion of the period of a license revocation, suspension, or denial for causes specified in subsections (2)(b), (2)(c), (2)(d), (2)(e), (2)(f), or (2)(g) of this section, subject to such terms and conditions as shall be deemed by the department to be appropriate.

(4) The original or a facsimile of each final order imposing disciplinary action that is issued to a driver training school or any of its instructors by the department shall be conspicuously displayed immediately adjacent to the driver training school's license. The final order shall be displayed for not less than the duration of the sanction period plus the next sixty days or for one year, whichever is less.

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