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NJ: Stricter Laws May Leave Teens Facing Tougher Road To Driver’s License

Teenagers who are learning to drive — and their parents — would face a longer road to a driver’s license, under a tough new teen-driver safety law proposed in the Legislature.

Parents of teens with a driving learner’s permit would be required to take a teen driver-orientation course, and the teenagers themselves would have to practice driving for up to 100 hours, under the bill sent to the state Assembly.

The bill would also lengthen the current six-month driver permit phase to one year, giving New Jersey one of the strictest teen driver safety laws in the nation.

The bill advanced today by the Assembly Transportation Committee in an 8-0 vote would build on previous teen driver safety efforts, such as decals signifying the driver is under 18, and a limit of one passenger.

The decal provision was part of Kyleigh’s Law, named for Kyleigh D’Alessio, a 16-year-old honor student from West Morris Central High School who died in a December 2006 crash that also killed the teenage driver.

The bill would toughen requirements for both teenage drivers with permits and for their parents or guardians.

It would mandate 16-year-old permit holders to have 50 hours of “practice driving,” in addition to the six hours of professional driver training that current law requires.

New drivers aged 17 or older are not required to take the six hours of professional training, and the bill would not mandate it, either. But they would be required to take 100 hours of practice driving — or be given the option of taking six hours of professional driving instruction and 50 hours of practice.

The practice-driving hours would be logged by parents, or a supervising adult driver, under an “honor system,” which would be one of the topics explained in a teen driver orientation course parents would have to take.

(Source: NJ Star Ledger)

One Response

  1. “Parents of teens with a driving learner’s permit would be required to take a teen driver-orientation course”. I believe this is unconstitutional, because it violate equal protection under the law.

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