Learn to Drive - Pennsylvania Legislators Get Failing Grade
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety has again ranked Pennsylvania among the worst states when it comes to safer traffic laws. As teens learn how to drive a car it is essential that laws and enforcement work together to protect them. Without the help of laws and the police to enforce them, parents have a much more difficult job of teaching their teens how to drive a car safely.
State Representative Eugene DePasquale says, "... it's disappointing but not exactly a news flash, given the General Assembly (of Pennsylvania) can't agree on even the most common-sense legislation, such as banning texting while driving a car..."
It looked like the Legislature was finally making progress last session, when the House overwhelmingly approved a bill aimed at teen driving. It included restricting the number of unrelated passengers a junior driver can have and making cell phone usage a secondary offense. But the Senate removed some of the bill's most important measures, and the House would not signing off on the watered-down version.
Pennsylvania and six other states have earned the worst possible grade in a recent survey by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a coalition of insurance companies and consumer, medical and safety agencies. The survey is based on whether states had enacted 15 life-saving laws, such as restrictions on handheld cell phones and teenage drivers, and requirements for motorcycle helmets, seat belts and booster seats. It is the second year in a row Pennsylvania has scored the worst possible grade.
The poor score resulted from Pennsylvania not having: a primary enforcement seat belt law, a ban on texting for all drivers, a helmet requirement for all motorcycle riders, and a host of teen driving provisions.
Advocates for the laws say that if the legislature could just pass laws aimed at teen drivers it would at least be progress, a sign that our lawmakers are conscious and aware of what's happening on our roads. Teenage drivers are the least experienced; they're immature and take more risks. There's absolutely no reason we should tolerate them chatting on their cell phones -- or pecking away, head down, at a text message -- when they need every ounce of their attention to keep themselves and everyone else on the roads safe.