By Mark Abrams and Jim Osman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A law imposing new restrictions on teen drivers in Pennsylvania took effect on Tuesday.
Among the major provisions of the new law is a requirement increasing the behind-the-wheel training for young drivers by 15 hours.
According to Jennifer Robinson, a spokeswoman for Triple-A Mid-Atlantic, it’s a big change that adults supervising young drivers who are applying for their permits need to pay attention to.
“Right now, it’s been 50 hours behind the wheel training under the current law and that’s increasing to 65 hours behind the wheel, said Robinson. “Ten of those 65 hours also must be at night and at least five hours must be in inclement weather.”
The new law, called Lacey’s Law is named after Lacey Gallagher who died in the spring of 2007. She was one of seven young people riding in an SUV at 3 in the morning when the vehicle lost control in dense fog on the PA turnkpike. Lacey was killed and the others were injured. Authorities say no alcohol was involved.
The law limits the number of passengers a young driver may transport to no more than one passenger who is under 18 and not an immediate family member unless they’re accompanied by a parent or guardian.
“During the first six months of driving, the teen driver can only have one non-family passenger,” Robinson added. “There were concerns about kids driving in the car with a lot of their friends and being inexperienced drivers and being very distracted by all their friends.”
“We’ve talked about it in school and no one really is happy with them,” said teen driver, Matt Siegelman.
Also, the law makes it a primary offense for young drivers and passengers under 18 for failing to wear a seat belt.