I remember getting my license right after I turned 16 and thinking I was on the road to freedom. I also remember calling my dad after I hit a car, with 3 of my friends as passengers, at the mall two months later. Looking back, my dad was pretty cool about the situation because I now know how much his auto insurance rates must have went up after my accident!
On October 25th Gov. Tom Corbett signed a new bill to help young drivers, like myself, from making a call to dad about an accident with a car load of friends. The bill creates new training requirements and rules for junior drivers and mandates the following
Passenger Restrictions: According to statistics from Pennsylvania AAA, the chances a 16-year-old will die in a crash increase 39 percent with one teen passenger; 86 percent with two teen passengers; and 182 percent with three or more teen passengers. The new law allows no more than one passenger under the age of 18, except for immediate family members, for the first six months and no more than three passengers under the age of 18 after the first six months.
More Driver Training: The new law increases the behind-the-wheel training from 50 to 65 hours, including 10 hours at night and five hours of during inclement weather to give junior drivers more experience.
Seat Belt Enforcement: More than half of teen driver and passenger deaths are the direct result of failure to buckle up. Now, drivers and passengers under age 18 must wear seat belts at all times in a moving vehicle and are subject to a $75 ticket for violating the law. The bill also allows a police officer, for the first time, to pull over a teen driver if the officer sees or suspects any driver or passenger under 18 is not buckled up.
The bill is also known as “Lacey’s Law” was named after Lacey Gallagher, 18, from Philadelphia, who was killed in car crash on April 28, 2007. She was a passenger in an SUV with six other teenagers. All of the other teens were injured; none wore seat belts.