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Boback Supports Safer Teen Driving Measure

Rep. Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming) today voted in favor of House Bill 9, which would expand behind-the-wheel training and restrict certain activities for drivers under the age of 18. 

“Vehicle crashes are the number-one cause of death for teenagers, and it is time for the General Assembly to step in and take action to make driving safer for teens and those with whom they share the road,” said Boback.  “As a mother and a member of the General Assembly, I support this legislation, which is designed to help parents in their efforts to curb unsafe driving habits among young drivers.” 

The greatest lifetime chance of crashing occurs in the first six months after being licensed, and states with comprehensive Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) programs report as much as a 40 percent drop in the number of fatal crashes among 16-year-old drivers. 

House Bill 9 would make it a primary offense for drivers and passengers under the age of 18 to be in a moving vehicle without a seatbelt.  It would limit to one the number of passengers under the age of 18 who could ride in a vehicle driven by a junior driver, with certain exceptions for siblings.  It would also increase behind-the-wheel training requirements. 

House Bill 9 passed the House today and will now go to the Senate for its consideration. 

Boback noted that she is also in favor of a separate measure that would prohibit the use of interactive wireless communication devices for the purposes of reading, writing or sending a text message while driving a motor vehicle. House Bill 8 would make texting while driving a primary offense, allowing law enforcement to stop a vehicle driven by a motorist involved in texting even if no other violation occurred.  The proposal is still awaiting a vote in the House. 

“While I respect privacy rights and abhor government intrusion into our lives, the fact remains that our roads are public places which we all share,” said Boback.  “Distracted driving is dangerous and lives are at stake.  I place an individual’s right to life above another’s right to text.” 

More information about Boback and her legislative priorities is available at and

State Representative Karen Boback
117th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Nicole Wamsley

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