Eyes on the Road!
Here in Pennsylvania, the magic number is 16. Teens who reach this long-awaited age are finally legal to get their driver’s permit. Although the rules for getting a permit remain the same, the restrictions for driving, on the other hand, have changed. Governor Corbett and the Legislature have made changes to the Vehicle Code in order to increase the safety of drivers on roads everywhere in PA. These changes affect requirements for getting a graduated driver’s license, passenger restrictions on junior drivers, and passenger restraint laws. On December 21, 2011, the changes to Act 81 will be implemented in order to give junior drivers more practice and to improve highway protection. The changes are as follows:
Junior Driver Training
- For people with a learner’s permit under the age of 18 years old, the requirements for supervised driving have been increased from 50 hours to 65 hours. Ten of the hours have to include night driving, and 5 of the hours must include driving in poor weather conditions. Those who have their permit and have taken the road driving skills test before December 21 only need to carry out the current requirement. As for those who have not taken the test, they must fulfill the new requirement of 65 hours.
Junior Driver Passenger Restrictions
- There will be more regulations about the age and number of passengers a person with a junior driver’s license can have in the vehicle. During the first six months after persons have received a junior license, they are only allowed to have one person who is under 18 years old and is not an immediate family member in the car with them unless there is a parent or legal guardian present. Once the six-month period is over, a driver is allowed to have up to three passengers under 18 years old without a parent or a legal guardian if she finished the six months without being convicted of a driving violation or being responsible for a reportable crash. If this is not the case, then the driver is still restricted to one passenger.
- Both drivers and passengers under age 18 who are in a vehicle must be wearing a correctly fastened seatbelt. For children 7 years old and under, the requirement is for them to be hooked up in a child restraint system. If anyone is found in violation of this new law, it is a primary offense and they can be pulled over and cited for it.
For more information, visit the site: http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/teenDriversCenter/newTeenDriversLaw.shtml