Merry Christmas to all you young drivers

This press release comes from PennDOT:

Pennsylvania’s new law aimed at increasing safety for young drivers takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 24. The new law increases behind-the-wheel training requirements, places a limit on the number of passengers a young driver can transport and makes not wearing a seatbelt a primary offense for young drivers.

The new law adds 15 hours of supervised, behind-the-wheel training for driver’s license permit holders younger than 18, bringing the total to 65 hours. Ten of the additional hours must include driving at night and five hours must occur during poor weather conditions. Current permit-holders younger than 18 who have not yet passed the driving skills test before Dec. 24 will have to meet the requirements of the new law.

Also, as part of the law, drivers younger than 18 will not be permitted to transport more than one passenger who is under 18 and is not an immediate family member unless they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. After six months, the junior driver may transport up to three passengers younger than 18 who are not immediate family members without a parent or legal guardian present, but only if that driver has not been convicted of a driving violation or has not been partially or fully responsible for a reportable crash.

The law also requires that junior drivers and passengers under the age of 18 must wear a seat belt, and children under the age of eight must be fastened in a child restraint system. The seat belt provisions of the new law are primary offenses, meaning a driver can be stopped and cited solely for that violation.

Well isn’t that good news for the rest of us who are on the road.

I am good with all of this. Anything that makes drivers safer on the road is a good idea.

Now it’s not that I am against teens. Heck I’ve dealt with four of them in my own home. But after seeing the way many of the teens drive these days, I’m for tougher laws. I’ve seen cars with five, six, seven kids in a vehicle. I’ve watched them speed, not watch they’re going and nearly clobber me in my car.

Generally speaking, over the years I have found them to be bad drivers.

So let’s see what these changes bring. Truth be told, if I were in charge I’d make them wait until age 18 before putting them out on the roads.

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About fromtheeditorchair

I am the editor of the Daily Local News.
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