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father in a car teaching a teen how to driveThis week, Govenor Tom Corbett signed into law a new bill that mandates the following for teen drivers ages 16 1/2 to 18:

  • Passenger Restrictions:  For the first 6 months after receiving a junior license, the teen driver will not be permitted to have more than 1 passenger under age 18 who is not an immediate family member, unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.  After 6 months, they may have up to 3 passengers under age 18, provided they haven’t received any violations or been responsible for an accident (partially or fully).  These restrictions apply until the teen driver turns 18.
  • Behind-The-Wheel Training:  Increased from 50 to 65 hours of supervised, behind-the-wheel training required for permit-holders under age 18.  10 of the added hours are for nighttime driving and 5 are for poor weather conditions.
  • Seatbelt Requirements:  For teen drivers and passengers under age 18, the lack of wearing a seatbelt is now a primary offense.  This means the driver can be solely pulled over for that violation.  The fine for conviction is $75.00.

The bill is known as “Lacey’s Law”.  It is named after Lacey Gallagher, 18, from the Philadelphia Area, who was killed in a car crash on April 28, 2007.  She was a passenger in an SUV with six other teens.  All of the other teens were injured; none wore seat belts.

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