PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – On Tuesday, young drivers will have to follow some new rules of the road.
The tougher regulations known as Act 81 limit the number of passengers teens can have in their car.
Junior drivers will only be allowed to transport one passenger under the age of 18 who is not an immediate family member. That rule is in effect for the first six months of their license.
Debbie Lilja told KDKA’s Kym Gable, “I’m a school teacher and what I see after school when the students are piled in the cars together, it’s absolute chaos, so I think we do need that law.”
After six months, they may drive with up to three passengers under 18, but only if they haven’t had a reportable crash. After the age of 18, the passenger limits are lifted.
Teenager Kara Klobuchir says, “When you have a lot of friends in the car, it’s difficult to concentrate. With the texting and driving, they’re cracking down on that (too.) That’s a really good idea.”
Act 81 also requires permit drivers to log 15 additional hours of behind the wheel training. The total used to be 50 hours, but has been increased to 65 and 10 of those hours have to be at night. Another five have to be in bad weather.
Junior drivers and passengers under the age of 18 must wear a seat belt. Not strapping in will be considered a primary offense, meaning a driver can be pulled over and cited without breaking any other laws.
Lawmakers said the changes are aimed at keeping young drivers safe.