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Teen Driver Safety Week: Oct. 14-20

Gov. Tom Corbett announced that next week will be Teen Driver Safety Week here in Pennsylvania, to coincide with the safety week’s national observance.

A press release from the governor’s office explained his commitment to ensuring teen driver safety by two pieces of legistation that Gov. Corbett signed into law just this year.

“Over the past year we’ve made great strides in ensuring our youngest drivers have as much experience as possible on our roadways,” said PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch. “PennDOT is wholeheartedly invested in traffic safety, and the bills the governor has signed emphasize the state’s commitment to future generations of safe drivers.”

Act 81 went into effect in December 2011, updating the state’s graduated driver licensing requirements. They include increased supervised, behind-the-wheel skill building for permit holders under 18 years of age from 50 to 65 hours; stricter limits on the number of passengers young drivers can transport for the first six months after receiving their junior license; and making it a primary offense for violating the law’s provision requiring the proper use of seat belts for drivers and front-seat passengers.

In August, the governor signed Act 84, which requires 16- and 17-year olds who want to obtain a motorcycle license to first complete the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program’s Basic Rider Course (BRC).

In support of Teen Driver Safety Week, the governor’s office offers the following tips to parents:

  • Talk to your teen about safe driving skills before they turn 16
  • Limit the number of passengers your teen is allowed to have in their vehicle
  • Limit dawn, dusk, and nighttime driving until your teen has more experience. Pennsylvania law prohibits 16- and 17-year-old drivers with a junior license from driving between 11 PM and 5 AM
  • Encourage your teen to avoid distractions behind the wheel, such as talking or texting on a cell phone
  • Ride with your teen occassionally to monitor driving skills
  • Set a good example