You've Spoken on New Teen Driver Rules

Patch users support the new regs aimed at teen driving safety

Gov. Tom Corbett (R) on Tuesday signed House Bill 9, also known as "Lacey's Law," intended to make teen driving safer. 

Patch launched a poll Oct.1 on our Lehigh Valley sites asking what users think of the new regulations, which include:

  • For the first six months, a driver under 18 will not be permitted to have more than one friend under 18 as a passenger unless they are accompanied by a parent/guardian.
  • After six months, they may have up to three passengers under 18, as long as they are free of violations or were not responsible for an accident.
  • Supervised, behind-the-wheel training required for permit-holders under age 18 rises from 50 to 65 hours. Ten of the added hours are for nighttime driving and five additional hours are spent driving in poor weather.
  • Drivers and passengers under 18 must wear a seatbelt or they can be stopped solely for that violation and fined $75.

We asked,

Here how you voted in our unscientific poll:

  • Good idea. They'll make our teens and our roads safer. 102 (56%)
  • Too restrictive. Another move towards a nanny state. 21 (11%)
  • While they're at it,  state lawmakers should reinstate a helmet law for motorcycle riders. 56 (31%)

Total votes: 179

Two Patch readers contacted us objecting to the third answer choice. They noted that there is a helmet law for teen motorcycle riders and that the debate on adult helmet laws is irrelevant to teen driver safety.

Got more to say? Add it on our comments section below.






Amy October 26, 2011 at 01:22 PM
The helmet comment is definitely not related to teen driving. However, if the law requires me to wear a seat belt in a car that is totally enclosed, I have a hard time understanding why the law does not require a helmet.
LM Resident October 26, 2011 at 02:06 PM
I am disappointed in the law. I originally thought that the 'one person in the car' would be for anyone under the age of 18 for the entire time---not just for 6 months. This law was created because of an 18 yr old girl that was killed in a car full of teens. I think 'one person in the car' it should be extended until you turn 18.
Amy October 26, 2011 at 02:10 PM
LM Resident, I agree with you as well. This is too lenient and not at all what was intended I am sure...There is no reason for teens to be carting other teens around. It is an invitation for the unthinkable...
Salisbury Resident October 26, 2011 at 04:03 PM
The backlash to this law will be inflated insurance costs for drivers under 18, not deflated. Policies are going to be written in a very confusing way where the slightest infringement made will be costly. I am not so sure I support this law. Only time will tell if it is working and/or appropriate.
Corrie van Aalst Adank October 26, 2011 at 05:47 PM
I wonder how they are going to enforce this law. If it is done like the" no texting" and" no handheld cell phones restrictions",it is a measure in futility
Terri Simpson October 26, 2011 at 06:27 PM
Parents are the true enforcers and you can very easily take those car keys away. We don't need more rules by the government all this will become is another money making scheme for the state. I survived and got my licence at 16 I had very strict rules and knew if I broke them I was in big trouble. My parents didn't need the Nanny State hovering around them to keep me safe.
George October 27, 2011 at 04:11 AM
for the first time, i agree with Terri. Driving is NOT a human right, and it certainly is not the right of a child. parents need spines.
LM Resident October 27, 2011 at 03:30 PM
and how many parents will do that? You had good parents. If all parents did what your parents did--this law would not be need. But it seems to me most teenagers are making the rules. Many parents are clueless about what their kids are doing. I think many parents in SLSD wear blinders. When you mention the drug or drinking problems in the local high schools they turn their head and say "not my kid". But that is a different issue and off topic--but one that should be looked into. Since parents aren't parenting and trying to be a friend to their kids-- we do need the laws made and enforced.
Terri Simpson October 27, 2011 at 07:35 PM
Parents are lazy and why because we have a entitlement mentality and they look to the government to solve everything and the government will surely take over because that is power. Parents should stop looking to lawmakers and be parents but has long has we have big brother looking over us parents will continue to expect laws for almost everything and not discipline.You are very correct the only answer to that is let the parents suffer the consequences it worked when I was a kid and it still works just people are used to being told what to do instead of thinking for themselves. We have to stop all the protective services and start thinking again. For the last 30 yrs we have been told to be our children friend and not yell not punish everyone should get a A nobody can lose in a sport we have so many on anti depressants we have destroyed the family it's time to get back to the basics and be real parents and we wouldn't need these rules. I agree it's really tragic parents need these rules
Don O'Leary October 28, 2011 at 07:34 PM
While I agree with Terri about parenting, I also realize that the reality is that most parents today do not have the skills to be parents. I have been an EMT in this area for the past 15 years and since the laws regarding teenage driving have been place the number of young bodies that I have had to pull out of cars has gone down. The number of injuries has also gone down. From my viewpoint, anything that will keep these kids alive and healthy is a good thing. The cars today are safer and the driver training is better. When I had to spent 50 hours in car with my sons, I taught four boys to drive, I learned quickly how they drove and was able to teach them how to do it safely. The more time parents spend in a car with their kids behind the wheel the better! I would prefer to see them without friends in the car for the first year - so they can experience driving in all kinds of weather conditions before they start to show off for friends, but I also realize that some of these kids are responsible and are car pooling to and from work to save gas and the enviroment. So there is something to be said for both sides of this.


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