This 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.