The Pennsylvania General Assembly has passed new teen driving laws aimed to increase teen driver safety. The law, known as House Bill 9, is now awaiting the governor’s signature.
The new PA teen driving law will limit the number of minor passengers that a junior driver may have in the car during the first six months after a Pennsylvania driver’s license is issued. Exceptions exist within the law for immediate family members and those accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Additional provisions in the new law include increased requirements for behind-the-wheel driver training time, upping the number of required hours from 50 to 65, with at least 10 hours at night and 5 hours during inclement weather. The new law will also make driving without a seat belt a primary offense for teen drivers and their passengers, meaning that a police officer may pull over a vehicle for that violation without additional cause.
Pennsylvania parents who have lost children in car accidents as well as AAA have strongly urged the PA governor to sign the law as soon as possible. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers aged 16 to 19 in the United States. According to an AAA study, the chances that a 16 year-old will die in a crash increase 39% with one teen passenger, 86% with two teen passengers, and 182% with three or more teen passengers.
Governor Corbett has stated his support for the bill and is expected to sign it. Once the governor signs the bill, the law would take effect 60 days later.