New Jersey Stiffens Rules for Teen Driving

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Friday, April 17, 2009

New Jersey Stiffens Rules for Teen Driving

Kudos to New Jersey for passing legislation that provides stricter measures regarding teen driving, with the goal of creating safer roadways. I'm all for doing what's reasonable to keep young drivers (and their passengers, and those in other cars!) safe. Still, one of the new laws will require teen drivers to display a decal on the license plate of the car they drive, enabling law enforcement officials to more easily identify young drivers. I'm not quite certain how this will actually help reduce accidents caused by teens. Not to be too cynical here, but I'm thinking bad driving behavior ought to be noticed by police with or without a decal on the license plate. What do you think?

Young drivers in New Jersey will be subject to some of the strictest laws in the nation under two bills that Gov. Jon Corzine signed this week.

New Jersey became the first state to adopt a measure requiring those younger than 21 without full-privilege licenses to display a decal on their vehicle identifying them as new drivers, according to state officials.

The intent is to make young drivers more easily identifiable to law enforcement.

The second law, which will take effect at the same time, limits under-21 drivers with a learner's permit or probationary license to one passenger unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. The law also prohibits them from driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. The current curfew is midnight to 5 a.m.

Under the law, provisional licenses would be renamed probationary licenses. The legislation also clarifies that new drivers of any age without a full-privilege license cannot use a wireless device - hands-free or not - while at the wheel. That has been the case since New Jersey's graduated driver-licensing laws took effect in 2001.

The laws take effect in 2010.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

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