A new law aimed at making teenagers safer drivers became effective December 27 in Pennsylvania. It requires more behind-the-wheel experience before they can get a license and limits the number of underage passengers they can carry. The primary sponsor is Bucks County State Representative Kathy Watson, who says numerous studies have shown that passenger limits reduce the crash rate for teen drivers by reducing distractions. She says another provision that makes riding without a seatbelt a primary offense for anyone under the age of 18 will reduce traffic deaths.
“50 percent of the people in that 16-to-18 age group who are killed in a crash are killed because they were ejected from the vehicle, and many of them would have survived had they been belted. The accident wasn’t so severe they couldn’t have survived the crash inside the vehicle, but they’re ejected.”
Watson says making it a primary offense means the police can pull teen drivers over and ticket them solely for not wearing a seatbelt.