TRENTON – New laws aimed at increasing teen driver safety were signed into today by Gov. Jon S. Corzine. The measures implement top recommendations of the state’s Teen Driver Study Commission and increase restrictions placed on teen drivers.
“Kyleigh’s Law” requires drivers who hold a learner’s permit, examination permit or provisional driver’s license to display an MVC-issued decal on the vehicle they are driving to aid law enforcement personnel in distinguishing between provisional and fully licensed drivers.
The decals will be removable and transferrable and be required to be displayed before a driver with a permit or provisional license operates the vehicle. Failure to display the decals will result in a $100 fine per offense.
The measure is named in honor of Kyleigh Dalessio, a 16-year-old honor student and recognized athlete from Long Valley who died in an accident involving another young driver with multiple passengers in the vehicle.
The other measure (A-3070) revises the restrictions placed on drivers who hold permits and provisional driver’s licenses. Under the law, the state’s provisional driver’s license is renamed a “probationary driver’s license.” Any driver under 21 will be allowed to travel with only one passenger, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. Restrictions on overnight driving will be extended by an hour, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
“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.”
“Like learning any other skill, learning to drive well takes time,” said Assemblyman Peter Barnes. (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.”
“AAA fully supports these changes to the state’s graduated driver license program,” AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman and Teen Driver Study Commission member David Weinstein said. “New Jersey can be proud that officials at various levels of government are doing their part to encourage safe new drivers through leadership and strong public policy.”