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New Teen Driver Law Takes Effect Dec. 27

Teens with driving permits must have 65 hours experience, instead of 50, before getting their junior licenses. The new law also restricts their passengers.

A law that takes effect Dec. 27 requires teen drivers with a learner's permit to have 65 hours of behind-the-wheel experience, rather than the current 50, before they can go for their junior driver's license.

Of the additional 15 hours driving with a supervising licensed driver, 10 hours must be at night and five hours must be in bad weather, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Current permit holders who haven't passed the driver's license test by tomorrow must meet the new requirements.  

For the first six months after getting their driver's license, junior drivers under 18 will only be allowed to transport one passenger who is under 18 and not of their immediate family, the law says. After six months, they can take up to three passengers under 18 who aren't family members, providing they haven't had any driving violations and weren't responsible for a reportable accident. 

Junior drivers and passengers under 18 must wear a seatbelt and a driver can be stopped and cited solely for violating that provision of the law, PennDOT said. 

Patch launched a Oct. 1 asking readers what they thought of the impending changes. The of the unscientific poll were: 56 percent (102 responses) said it was a good idea and 11 percent (21 responses) said it was too restrictive. 

Pirmigrin December 27, 2011 at 04:33 AM
Curious as to how the 10 hours of night and 5 hours of bad weather driving is documented and proven? Im all for newer restriction/requirements for younger (also elderly, but that another argument) drivers, but not sure how enforceable the driving requirements are.
Margie Peterson December 27, 2011 at 02:07 PM
Under the old law, teen drivers were given a log book to log their practice hours -- so they were essentially working on the honor system. I think that's the same with the new law.
Salisbury Resident December 27, 2011 at 04:23 PM
This law is targeting those parents who do not take the time to teach their children how to drive. Its not just the operation of a vehicle, its the awareness of the road and their environment. Its these same parents who allow their children to use phones and electronic games while in church...to occupy their time. Who am I kidding here? This ultimately will target me...the parent with the great children who already know how to drive, but will get busted just that one time. Crazy stuff...just give the permission to the police to allow them to stop drivers under a suspicion. Its not profiling...its safety.
tamarya January 02, 2013 at 06:52 PM
Under the really old laws you went and took your driving test, when I got my license I took the permit test and could have taken the driving test the next day. I think the key difference today then with us is the responsibility decline, how can we give our kids a weapon that they will not be held accountable for if they harm or kill someone, or break the law behind the wheel.

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