PA lawmakers consider lowering driving age

Jessica Wang, Reporter

Pennsylvanian lawmakers are proposing a bill that would lower the current legal driving age from 16 to 15 years old.

State representatives Stephen Kinsey(D-Philadelphia) and Eric Nelson(R-Westmorland) argued that the current legal driving age is an obstacle for teens who want to be employed.

“While state law allows young people in Pennsylvania to begin working before they are 16 years old, it limits their employment choices by prohibiting them from driving until the age of 16,” said Kinsey and Nelson in a legislative release.

A bill by the pair was submitted in the PA House of Representatives outlining their proposal in February. 

The representatives also mentioned how neighboring states have already changed the minimum age for driving eligibility.

“Three neighboring states – West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland – recognize the societal contributions that individuals under 16 can make by allowing them to get their learner’s permits,” said the lawmakers.

The proposed bill would allow 15 year olds to be eligible for a learner’s permit as well as a junior driver’s license. Additionally, there would not be any changes made to existing safety or training requirements such as nighttime driving restrictions if the bill passes. 

Although the bill seems like a great opportunity for teenagers to become more independent, many people have opposed the idea. Opposing people have stated that younger teens may get distracted too easily and ultimately cause more accidents. 

Driving is something that many teens look forward to doing. While some think that the current driving age limit is appropriate, others would like to see changes.