Back in 2006, a car crash involving a teen driver took the life of a young New Jersey woman by the name of Kyleigh D’Alessio. The result was Kyleigh’s Law, New Jersey’s progressive and stringent policies that apply to all teen drivers in the state.
The New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety explains that under Kyleigh’s Law, if you are a teen driver, you must affix small red decals to your vehicle’s front and back license plates any time you drive. The idea is to remind you to “stick to it” with regard to safe driving practices. The decals also make it easier for law enforcement officers to identify you as a teen driver so as to enforce New Jersey’s teen driving laws.
3-step licensing process
As a teen driver, you will undergo the following 3-step graduated licensing procedure:
- Learner’s permit
- Probationary restricted driver’s license
- Full unrestricted driver’s license
During your probationary period, the law restricts your nighttime driving, the number of passengers you can have in the vehicle with you and your use of electronic devices, including cellphones, while driving. It also requires you and your passengers to wear seat belts. In addition, it makes you ineligible for plea bargaining if officers cite you for a moving violation.
While these restrictions may seem unnecessarily cumbersome to you, the fact remains that effective enforcement of New Jersey’s teen driving laws has significantly reduced the number of teen driving fatalities. Between 2008 and 2018, teen driver fatalities dropped from 101 to 53, a 47% decrease. Passenger deaths decreased even more significantly during the same period, from 19 to 8, which represents a nearly 60% decrease.