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New State Legislation Aimed at Teen Drivers, Fewer Car Accidents

Our immediately preceding blog post noted that New Jersey teens are, when compared with their peers nationally, involved in comparatively fewer car accidents and, in fact, have the lowest traffic fatality rate among teenagers in the United States.

The subject matter discussed during a press conference held in late October by Assemblyman John Wisniewski and the AAA Clubs of New Jersey goes far toward explaining why that is the case.

New Jersey, as we have noted, has relatively stringent teen driving requirements. With new legislation moving through the system, it is likely that those requirements will soon be additionally beefed up.

What the legislation - namely, A-3309 - proposes is that the state's current Graduated Driver License ("GDL") requirements be expanded during the supervised driving period for teens. The GDL does not presently address the type or scope of practice driving that is required. The new law does, and also provides for a parent-teen orientation prior to the supervised driving period.

"These are the missing pieces in New Jersey's teen driver safety puzzle," says Wisniewski, who sponsored the bill. A-3309 expands the supervised driving period to one year, increases driving hours to 50, institutes a new requirement of 10 hours of nighttime driving, and encourages supervised teen driving in more than just ideal driving conditions and weather.

Cathleen Lewis, public affairs director for AAA New Jersey, expects A-3309 to move smoothly and quickly through the legislature. So, too, does Wisniewski, saying that, "These requirements will produce better, more savvy teen drivers."

Related Resource: "AAA Highlights Need for GDL Changes During National Teen Driver Safety Week" October 21, 2010

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