Pa. Makes Teen Driving Laws Tougher

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It is just after school and car loads of teenagers leave school and head for points unknown.

In the eyes of safety experts, it is a recipe for disaster.

“Because when you think about it,” says Ultimate Defensive Driving School Founder James Clair, “When you hear about an accident with young people on the road it’s never just one young person, it’s always a group of kids in the car.”

Once signed by Governor Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania’s new teen safe driving law will end the days of carpooling 16-year-olds.

“They can only have one passenger for the first six months,” State Rep. Mike Turzai said, R-Allegheny, said.

After six months if they are not involved in a reportable incident, the junior driver can then carry up to three passengers until they are 18 when the limits come off.

Teenagers are predictably unhappy with the law.

“Stupid!” was one girl’s comment as she rode in a friend’s car from school. One of her classmates commented, “I think if you focus on the road you can have more than one passenger.”

Clair says the law is a good first step but it ignores the critical issue of teen drivers and cell phones.

“Teens at least 16 to 18, we should have had something in there about that cell phone, not using that cellphone while they’re driving, not texting, I think it should have been in there.”

Turzai says a texting ban is coming, but in a separate bill which he hopes will be passed by Thanksgiving.

Turzai says the importance of the passenger restrictions should not be underestimated.

Turzai says in 43 other states that already have similar restrictions have seen fatality statistics decline.

“It’s been a drop off in teen fatalities in accidents to the tune of over 20 percent.”

In addition to the passenger restrictions, the law raises the number of required training hours from 50 to 65 before a new driver can take the driver’s test.

State Rep. Mike Turzai
Ultimate Defensive Driving

More from John Shumway
  • Darlene Coulter Davis

    were can I find out more on this law.

  • 2059

    raise the driving age to 18 and take a persons license away at 80.

    • aaliyah

      LOVE IT!

  • Maryann

    I have already “legislated” this law in my home with a few tweeks. 1. No passengers for the 1st 6 months. 2. If no accidents, 2 more passengers. Also,3. they were not allowed to ride in a friends car for their first 6 months.

  • kate

    ok what about elderly driving laws? When is THAT going to be addressed?????

  • Christine

    “..was one girl’s comment as she ROAD in her friend’s car.” Really, KDKA? Spell-check does not equal editing!

    And yes, please legislate a texting ban on ALL drivers, with at least biennial driving exams after age 70.

  • Pathetic

    Wow another parenting law!! I cant wait till there doesn’t have to be parents anymore just laws!! Hey Corbett whens dinner tonight and what’s my snack going to be!

  • dose of truth

    It’s meant to protect other drivers as well. I cant’ count how many times I had a close call becasue some idiot teen was driving way to fast and swerved into my lane. Or seeing them street race at 2am. So yes due to parents complete ineptitude in not taking the keys away once in awhile, the state has to step in. I deserve as a tax payer to safer roads free of Johnny or Jane rocket clutch trying to impress their buddies and killing me in the process. So thank you Tom Corbett, thank you for trying to stop young people from dying pointless deaths and showing parents that they need to step up their game.

    • PA needs drivers education!

      let me guess…you are probably one of those people who slam on their brakes because you are entering a tunnel…..or one of those people sitting at the beginning of an on ramp with your blinker waiting for someone else to stop so you can enter the highway….or one of those people who make a left turn from the right side of the road….

  • joe w

    this law makes since because Pittsburgh driver are the DUMBEST drivers in the country!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • PA Makes Teen Driving Laws Tougher « proActive Safety Services Blog

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  • Mike

    Punishing the good drivers as well as the bad drivers is no way to conduct law! Corbett is restricting young people more and more and giving more and more to the elderly! Taking educational funding away, restricting driving priviledges, whats next? Pretty soon the elderly, including Corbett, will be making all our decisions for us. THANKS DADDY CORBETT!

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