Night driving is a crucial part of learning how to drive, but young drivers can't just practice anytime between dusk and dawn. Most states have rules regarding when young drivers can drive by themselves at night, when they need to have someone else in the car, and who that someone else needs to be. Even after you get your license, some rules may still apply. Here are the nighttime laws in Pennsylvania that you need to know:
- If you just have a learner's permit, then nighttime driving restriction begins at 11 p.m. A young driver may not be behind the wheel between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Young drivers may travel for employment and for volunteer or charitable service during these hours, but they must carry proper documentation.
- Those on the learner's permit need to acquire 65 hours of behind-the-wheel training from a licensed driver over the age of 21 before getting a junior license. At least 10 of those hours much take place at night.
- If you have a junior license, then nighttime driving restriction begins at 11 p.m. Even with a junior license, a young driver may not drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless they carry the proper documentation or they are supervised by a licensed driver over 18.
- Even with proper documentation, those with a permit or a junior license are restricted in the number of passengers they can have in the vehicle. Young drivers can have only one non-family member under 18 with them in the car.
- After six months on the junior license, the restriction rises to no more than three passengers under 18, but only if the young driver has a clean driving record. Immediate family members are excluded from the restriction. The restriction also does not apply if a parent or legal guardian is in the vehicle with the young driver.
- Once on the unrestricted license, the nighttime driving restriction is lifted.
Some of these restrictions were only implemented this year, so it's important to revise your knowledge of Pennsylvania driving law so you can keep your teens safe, and so they are aware of the law when they are learning how to drive. Car accidents are the number one killer of teenagers in the country, and these laws are only in place to keep young drivers out of dangerous situations.