Teen Drivers Tagged 2

teendriverNew Jersey is leading the nation, but as yet no other states are following. This past January saw a new law taking effect requiring a flu vaccination for any child between the ages of 6 months to five years who is enrolled in a school or daycare, public or private. The controversial law, the first in the nation, met resistance by many parent groups protesting in Trenton. New Jersey again leapt to the forefront by enacting another first for American automobile drivers by requiring holders of a provisional license to display an “orange tag” when driving. The bill garnered bipartisan support in its passage and was signed into law on April 15th.

Additional, laws signed at the same time included additional restriction of provisional drivers with respect to the number of passengers allowed in a car, a total ban on wireless communication irregardless of it being hands free, and changing the driving curfew to begin an hour earlier at 11pm. It appears that the imposition of a teen driver decal has gathered the most attention by residents of New Jersey. The case in favor of the the new law, which is detailed in the Governor’s press release reprinted below, was promoted by Senate Democrats and Republicans after its passage.

Residents in the FLOW area, Franklin Lakes, Oakland and Wyckoff, will be dealing with the new requirements next spring with a fresh crop of teen drivers. It is expected that the tag will need to employ a velcro backing that will be attached near the car’s license plate. While originally a “hang tag” concept was defined in the legislation, it became apparent that blocking the view of drivers was counter-productive. The law actually impacts any provisional license holder, so teenagers using a parents car will need to attach and remove the tags lest the adult driver be identified as a “newbie”

Residents, locally, and around the state offered mostly criticism of the law. One teenager commented that, “They should make people with a lot of points on their license wear these tags. That would be useful. Most teens I know are extra careful. No one wants to get in an accident.” Adults shared a similar disdain mixing politics and an element of road rage. “They should make a special license for stupid people, and make all those politicians down in Trenton use them. What am I supposed to do when I see someone with these “tags” driving, not curse at them, or drive really fast to get away from them?”

Below is the official press release from the Governor’s office.

Kyleigh’s Law Press Release

Governor Jon S. Corzine today signed Kyleigh’s Law, making New Jersey the first state in the nation to have a teen driver decal law. Named in honor of 16-year old Kyleigh D’Alessio, S-2314/A-3069 requires the use of an identifier on vehicles driven by teens holding a permit or provisional license.

“Having a driver’s license is an awesome responsibility for any teenager,” Governor Corzine said. “The legislation I am signing today initiates several preventative measures to help avoid further teen driving tragedies like Kyleigh’s, while ensuring that our young people are better prepared to safely take to the roadways.”

The new law also will assist police in identifying young drivers who may be in violation of the Graduated Driver License (GDL) restrictions.

“As a father I cannot even begin to imagine what the pain is like for family and friends of Kyleigh D’Alessio and the thousands of other teenagers who die in automobile accidents each year,” said Senator Thomas H. Kean, Jr. (R-Essex, Morris, Union). “This legislation is designed to encourage our young drivers to drive safely and to comply with the rules of the road. It will also assist law enforcement personnel in identifying new drivers that might not be complying with the rules and thus, putting themselves, passengers and other drivers at risk. Through education and action we can save lives and help avert another tragedy.”

Governor Corzine also signed S-16/A-3070, revising nighttime driving and passenger restrictions on permit and provisional drivers. New Jerseys’ Graduated Driver License (GDL) law currently restricts teens on a provisional license from driving between midnight and 5 a.m. Although only 15 percent of miles driven by 16 and 17-year-olds are between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., more than 40 percent of their fatal crashes occur during this time period. The bill also renames the provisional license “probationary.”

“We live in the most densely populated state in the nation in an era of constant distractions,” said Senator Richard J. Codey (D-Essex). “Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed a number of tragic accidents that could have been avoided. Hopefully these changes will make sure that inexperienced drivers have greater supervision and less distractions while they’re still learning the ropes.”

“Statistics show that 40 percent of fatal teen car accidents occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.,” said Senator Fred H. Madden, (D-Camden, Gloucester). “This new law will work to protect all drivers by reducing these numbers, while also making it easier for law enforcement officers to identify teen drivers. This bill isn’t about profiling, but instead ensuring that parents, young drivers and police officers are able to take an active role in protecting our roadways.”

The bills signed today address four recommendations contained in the Teen Driver Study Commission’s March 2008 report. Three of those recommendations are essential for stemming the tide of teen driver crashes that last year claimed 60 teen lives – 37 drivers and 23 passengers.

“Every nine minutes a teen crashes in New Jersey,” Division of Highway Traffic Safety Director Pam Fischer said. “The legislation signed today by Governor Corzine will help to ensure that young drivers, who clearly face a higher risk on our roadways, remain safe during the most dangerous time of their lives. These bills will help reduce teen crashes and ultimately save young lives.”

According to the NJ Teen Driver Study Commission Report, a teen driver is 158 percent more likely to be killed in a crash while carrying two passengers. The risk increases to 207 percent when there are three passengers in a teen driver’s car. The increased risk is often the result of distraction and others in the car encouraging the teen driver to take risks with most teen crashes in NJ occur after school.

“The only way to become better at anything is through practice, and driving is no exception,” said Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), chairman of the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee. “Providing teen drivers with adequate behind-the-wheel time, standardized driver education and a healthy respect for the consequences of bad driving will help make them safer, more responsible motorists.”

“We need to give newly minted drivers the tools they need to become safe, responsible motorists,” said Assemblyman Anthony Chiappone (D-Hudson). “Encouraging safe driving practices, enhancing penalties for bad driving and increasing the amount of time required behind the wheel will go a long way toward that goal.”

In total, the report outlines 47 recommendations to help reduce teen crashes, and ultimately save lives. While the State has the oldest minimum driving age in the nation (17) and a strong

Graduated Driver License (GDL) law that addresses teen risk factors (i.e., passengers, nighttime driving, cell phones, and seat belts), the Commission determined that more can and must be done to reduce teen driver crashes and save lives.

“Like learning any other skill, learning to drive well takes time,” said Assemblyman Peter J. Barnes III. (D-Middlesex) “Ensuring our teens have the technical ability and good measure that come with practice will make them safer and more careful when they’re on the road.”

Between 2002 and 2008, more than 400 teen drivers and teens who were passengers in teen-driven vehicles, died on the state’s roadways.

“This package will help reinforce the message to teens that driving is a privilege, not a right,” said Assemblywoman Pamela R. Lampitt (D-Camden). “We need to better impress upon teens that getting behind the wheel carries with it real and tremendous responsibility for their passengers, other drivers and, most importantly, themselves.”

“Making sure that our teenagers understand the serious responsibility that comes along with obtaining a drivers license is imperative,” said Assemblyman John F. McKeon. (D-Essex) “Distinguishing learning teen drivers from the rest of the driving community will make our roads safer for everyone.”

“Despite having a strong Graduated Driving Licensing law, we have experienced a rash of fatal crashes involving teenage drivers during the past few years,” said Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, (R-Monmouth). “This legislation the governor has signed today will enhance and strengthen that law and provide constructive and improved guidelines that will ultimately save lives.”

Kyleigh’s Law was sponsored by Senators Fred H. Madden, Jr. (D-Camden, Gloucester) and Thomas H. Kean, Jr. (R-Essex, Morris, Union); Assemblymen Anthony Chiappone (D-Hudson), Peter J. Barnes, III (D-Middlesex), John F. McKeon (D-Essex), Michael J. Doherty, (R-Warren, Hunterdon) and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Monmouth).

S-16/ A-3070 was sponsored by Senators Richard J. Codey (D-Essex) and M. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex, Union), Assemblywomen Pamela R. Lampitt (D-Camden) and Mary Pat Angelini (R-Monmouth) as well as Assemblymen John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), Anthony Chiappone (D-Hudson) and Michael J. Doherty, (R-Warren, Hunterdon).

2 thoughts on “Teen Drivers Tagged

  • Ryan Robinson

    What I think about Kyleigh’s Law: By Ryan Robinson

    Hearing about this in the news really caught my attention. I had to stop, think and read it again. I do believe this could be a great idea but very dangerous at the same time. Seeing a News 12 NJ Video online, they talked about the story and what people online are thinking. Many of the blogs they said brought up good points. I feel that I should share them along with my own view.
    One blog said that Kyleigh’s Law is a fantastic idea. They said, almost identical to Corzine, that it would keep teen drivers and all other drivers on the road safe and aware. It could also reduce the number of accidents and help drivers be alert for other drivers on the road who may not be as experienced or ready as they are.
    Another blog really caught my attention and I definitely think it is worth pointing out. It said that if this “sticker” would be placed on a car, molesters or people out to get teens could know which cars to stalk and/or try to enter. This could cause a serious risk to teens who might be driving out somewhere with their friends. Who knows, a guy could try and enter the car and try and do something to the teens. In a way, one might as well put a huge sign on top of their car saying “I AM A TEEN! COME AND GET ME!”.
    Personally, I think Kyleigh’s Law is a good idea but needs much more thought and work into it. In regards to keeping drivers safe around the teens, I say good. In regards to helping drivers pay more attention, great! In regards to everyone being safer on roads and the reduction of possible accidents, I say fantastic. However, the possibility that something could harm a teen because of this law is not so bright. I think that most of the law needs to stay but with the whole sticker idea, I do not like it. Maybe they could have a sticker that not only just says that they are a teen driver, but maybe also have a way for police to track them in case of danger. But then, that could cause another problem because that could violate privacy and such.
    This law sounds great and parts of it are, but it does need a lot more work. I think the law came out too quickly and more thought was needed. Maybe the government needs to spend more time on helping towns, businesses, counties, and the entire state get through this tough economic time.

  • Trish

    I think it is terrible . Especially the fact that the kids have to be home by 11pm. Most school events end at 11 and that would mean that the kids have to leave early. Also, you are showing molestors which cars have teens.,

Comments are closed.