A new Pennsylvania law limiting how many passengers that teen drivers can have and increasing the number of hours of behind-the-wheel experience required for a junior license was signed Tuesday by Gov. Tom Corbett.
Corbett told students at Harrisburg High School that he hopes it will save lives.
“You think we’re picking on you? We are, we really are,” Corbett said. “We singled you out because we want you here a long time from now.”
For six months, teens without a parent in the vehicle will not be allowed to have more than one friend or similar person under 18, who is not a member of their household, as a passenger. If they haven’t caused an accident after six months, the teen driver could carry three such passengers.
It makes failure to wear seatbelts a primary offense, so police can stop drivers under age 18 if they or their passengers are not wearing seatbelts. Violations carry a $75 fine.
Corbett said questions about how police officers will know the age of drivers on sight is something to worry about in the future.
“It will all get litigated,” he said.
Teens with learner’s permits would need 65 hours of driving experience to get a junior license, up from 50 hours. Teens can get a junior license starting at age 16. There is also a new requirement of five hours of bad-weather driving and 10 hours of night driving.
The signing came with bills pending in the state House to address distracted driving among all drivers.
“I want that bill passed,” Corbett said.
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