HARRISBURG — Moms and dads, it looks like you’re going to have to keep driving the car pool for a while, even after your teens get their licenses.

The state House overwhelmingly gave final approval to legislation limiting the number of passengers in cars operated by new teenage drivers.

Newly licensed drivers under age 18 can have no more than one passenger under 18 other than immediate family members unless a parent or legal guardian is in the vehicle. After six months, teens who have not been found at fault in a motor vehicle accident can transport up to three passengers who are under 18 and not immediate relatives. More than three passengers still would require a parent.

Sponsored by Rep. Kathy Watson, R-Bucks, the bill now heads to Gov. Tom Corbett for his signature. A spokeswoman said the governor will sign the bill, which becomes law in 60 days.

The legislation also expands driver education requirements by increasing on-the-road training by 15 hours for a total of 65. Ten of those hours must be at night and five during inclement weather.

The bill also makes it a primary offense to operate a motor vehicle with a young child who isn’t in a car seat or a passenger under 18 who isn’t wearing a seat belt. Right now, not wearing a seat belt is a secondary offense for all drivers, which means they can only be charged if they are stopped for another offense.

Some parents already hold their children to stricter household driving rules, but Ms. Watson said a law will be more effective.

“We’ve all conned our parents; I did it,” she said. “But it’s different when there’s a law. It’s not just your mother to worry about, but Officer Jones in your rear-view mirror.”

Article source: http://feeds.stateline.org/~r/StatelineorgRss-Transportation/~3/aIvxdADg4O0/1178399-454.stm