New NJ driving law for novice drivers...Identifying License Plate Decal....Good or Bad?

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Road Warrior: N.J. teen driving decal program officially unveiled today

Wednesday, March 24, 2010



By JOHN CICHOWSKI
ROAD WARRIOR COLUMNIST

Ifyou're under 21 and you've just received your driving permit orprobationary license, you already know you still must jump through afew more bureaucratic hoops, such as the dreaded road test. And thenthere are the driving restrictions, too, including passengerlimitations and an 11 p.m. curfew under the Graduated Driver Licenselaw.

Ugh!

And today, at a news conference in Freehold withthe new attorney general, you'll formally hear about still another tinyhurdle: You must return to a state Motor Vehicle Commission office topick up two red, removable, 1-by-1 1/2-inch decals that can be slippedover the upper left corner of your front and back license plates. Thisrestriction applies to all novices, even those who have passed theirwritten exams or road tests.

Oh, and bring $4 with you, too. Likeyour driver's license and auto registration, asserting your privilegeto drive costs money — and so do these teen identity tags. The state ispaying a Chicago contractor $644,000 to make 500,000 of these decals,so you're on the hook to foot this bill, as well as ancillary costs.

Asyou might have heard, the Legislature last year mandated decals to makeit easier for police to identify novice drivers so they can betterenforce GDL restrictions.

You might not appreciate this as youtrudge off to an MVC office, but your $4 purchase is part of a historicAmerican experiment. That's because the decals, which must be displayedstarting May 1, mark the first attempt by any state to identify youngdrivers under GDL laws now prevalent in all states. Great Britain,Japan and Australia require similar decals. But not the United States.

Until now.

Some think this is un-American. A lawyer went to court in Morris

Countythis month to argue that the decals discriminate against teens like hisson. He also said it might make them targets for predators.

Thediscrimination argument would be stronger if driving was akin tovoting, which is a guaranteed constitutional right. But unfortunately,exercising your freedom at 60 mph is not mentioned in the constitution.It's a privilege with restrictions that cover all ages. The predatorargument would make more sense, too, if someone came up with a fewstrong examples in places like London, Tokyo or Sydney where decals arecommon.

But no one has. The closest target for attack is thefederal Driver's Privacy Protection Act which Congress adopted after astalker used motor vehicle records to track down and kill actressRebecca Schaeffer in California in 1989. But, as a deputy New Jerseyattorney general noted in this month's state Superior Court challenge,age is not considered personal information under federal law. Moreover,guessing somebody's age is hardly rocket science. All someone must do,the judge told the plaintiffs, is glance inside the car.

Ofcourse, that's not a good enough standard for police. They need alittle more precision before stopping a youthful-looking driver who,upon further examination, turns out to be on his way to middle age. Theblazing red decal provides this precision — unless, of course, it's Momor Dad who's doing the driving. That's why the decal is made of aVelcro-like substance that can be pulled on and off when an adultdrives the family car.

But if the motorist is on a learner'spermit or a GDL license, failing to attach the decal can mean a $100fine and even license suspension.

But all these arguments miss the bigger issue, which is safety.

Visitnjteendriving.com/gdl to learn more about the activity that kills moreAmerican teens each year (6,000) than any disease. One way to cut downon the carnage as much as 40 percent is the GDL law. Its restrictionsare designed to reduce risky behavior during a novice's first yearsbehind the wheel when the crash potential is greatest.

But a lawwith limited enforcement is not much of a law. With a simple splash ofcolor, Kyleigh's Law — named for a Morris County teen who was killed ina car driven by a novice — enhances enforcement. For thousands offamilies with teens like Kyleigh D'Alessio, the issue that keeps themup at night isn't the crazies who might prey on novice drivers. It'sthe novices whose inexperience and lack of judgment too often causesthem to drive a little crazy.

Road Warrior passes through here Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. E-mail cichowski@northjersey.com.

Ifyou're under 21 and you've just received your driving permit orprobationary license, you already know you still must jump through afew more bureaucratic hoops, such as the dreaded road test. And thenthere are the driving restrictions, too, including passengerlimitations and an 11 p.m. curfew under the Graduated Driver Licenselaw.


The red decals must be affixed to tags of cars operated by novices.

Ugh!

Andtoday, at a news conference in Freehold with the new attorney general,you'll formally hear about still another tiny hurdle: You must returnto a state Motor Vehicle Commission office to pick up two red,removable, 1-by-1 1/2-inch decals that can be slipped over the upperleft corner of your front and back license plates. This restrictionapplies to all novices, even those who have passed their written examsor road tests.

Oh,and bring $4 with you, too. Like your driver's license and autoregistration, asserting your privilege to drive costs money — and so dothese teen identity tags. The state is paying a Chicago contractor$644,000 to make 500,000 of these decals, so you're on the hook to footthis bill, as well as ancillary costs.

Asyou might have heard, the Legislature last year mandated decals to makeit easier for police to identify novice drivers so they can betterenforce GDL restrictions.

Youmight not appreciate this as you trudge off to an MVC office, but your$4 purchase is part of a historic American experiment. That's becausethe decals, which must be displayed starting May 1, mark the firstattempt by any state to identify young drivers under GDL laws nowprevalent in all states. Great Britain, Japan and Australia requiresimilar decals. But not the United States.

Until now.

Some think this is un-American. A lawyer went to court in Morris

Countythis month to argue that the decals discriminate against teens like hisson. He also said it might make them targets for predators.

Thediscrimination argument would be stronger if driving was akin tovoting, which is a guaranteed constitutional right. But unfortunately,exercising your freedom at 60 mph is not mentioned in the constitution.It's a privilege with restrictions that cover all ages. The predatorargument would make more sense, too, if someone came up with a fewstrong examples in places like London, Tokyo or Sydney where decals arecommon.

Butno one has. The closest target for attack is the federal Driver'sPrivacy Protection Act which Congress adopted after a stalker usedmotor vehicle records to track down and kill actress Rebecca Schaefferin California in 1989. But, as a deputy New Jersey attorney generalnoted in this month's state Superior Court challenge, age is notconsidered personal information under federal law. Moreover, guessingsomebody's age is hardly rocket science. All someone must do, the judgetold the plaintiffs, is glance inside the car.

Ofcourse, that's not a good enough standard for police. They need alittle more precision before stopping a youthful-looking driver who,upon further examination, turns out to be on his way to middle age. Theblazing red decal provides this precision — unless, of course, it's Momor Dad who's doing the driving. That's why the decal is made of aVelcro-like substance that can be pulled on and off when an adultdrives the family car.

Butif the motorist is on a learner's permit or a GDL license, failing toattach the decal can mean a $100 fine and even license suspension.

But all these arguments miss the bigger issue, which is safety.

Visitnjteendriving.com/gdl to learn more about the activity that kills moreAmerican teens each year (6,000) than any disease. One way to cut downon the carnage as much as 40 percent is the GDL law. Its restrictionsare designed to reduce risky behavior during a novice's first yearsbehind the wheel when the crash potential is greatest.

Buta law with limited enforcement is not much of a law. With a simplesplash of color, Kyleigh's Law — named for a Morris County teen who waskilled in a car driven by a novice — enhances enforcement. Forthousands of families with teens like Kyleigh D'Alessio, the issue thatkeeps them up at night isn't the crazies who might prey on novicedrivers. It's the novices whose inexperience and lack of judgment toooften causes them to drive a little crazy.

what do you think?
Gonna suck for new drivers...but I think it's great..  They should have GDL laws nationwide
 
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@ this being "un- American".
I really don't see anything wrong with this.I can definitely see this being implemented nationwide VERY soon.
 

kdawg

Staff member
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They don't have those in Great Britain - but they do have something similar in Northern Ireland - P plates I think they call them. The P stands for 'probationary' and you have a different speed limit too - you have to keep them on for a year I think.

Don't know what it does to accident rates either.
 

kdawg

Staff member
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Joined Jun 25, 2003
Originally Posted by Durden7

I dont see why its necessary.
Visitnjteendriving.com/gdl to learn more about the activity that kills moreAmerican teens each year (6,000) than any disease. One way to cut downon the carnage as much as 40 percent is the GDL law. Its restrictionsare designed to reduce risky behavior during a novice's first yearsbehind the wheel when the crash potential is greatest.
 
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Originally Posted by kdawg

Originally Posted by Durden7

I dont see why its necessary.
Visit njteendriving.com/gdl to learn more about the activity that kills more American teens each year (6,000) than any disease. One way to cut down on the carnage as much as 40 percent is the GDL law. Its restrictions are designed to reduce risky behavior during a novice's first years behind the wheel when the crash potential is greatest.


   I still dont see why its necessary.
 
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they shouldnt be able to use the left lane... I don't know what a decal is going to do.
edit:

Oh, I guess the decal is more for police to identify them?

I guess if the car is under their name
 
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I don't think it's that bad considering I had to drive around with one of these on:

Spoiler [+]

x10.
 
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Joined May 2, 2001
it's not just the decal...but also the other laws. - http://www.iihs.org/laws/...teLaws.aspx?StateAbbr=NJ

eg.
[table][tr][th=""]Restrictions during intermediate or restrictedlicense stage:[/th][/tr][tr][td]Nighttime restrictions:[/td][td]midnight - 5 am until 5/1/10; then 11 - 5 am[/td][/tr][tr][td]Passenger restrictions:
(family members excepted unless otherwise noted)[/td][td]no more than 1 passenger (household members excepted until 5/1/10 when the exception will be limited to drivers' dependents)[/td][/tr][/table]
 
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i live in NJ and they should also give them to the elderly. about 80% of them cant drive
 
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SonOfTony wrote:[hr][/hr]i live in NJ and they should also give them to the elderly. about 80% of them cant drive


Thats all over the country.

I firmly believe every person should have to re-take some sort of drivers license test every 10 years.
  
 
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As a fellow NJ citizen this a bad idea. IMO it'll make easy prey for all the sickos out there. If they're going to do this they should put stickers on plates of rapists, thieves and such so everyone else can be aware of them
 
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Nah, how is it good? I wouldn't want my, your or anyone elses daughter or son being followed around by a predator because of a decal. Plus NJ is already well known for profiling. This will make it easier to find someone and weed them out for all the wrong reasons
 
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Originally Posted by Durden7

I firmly believe every person should have to re-take some sort of drivers license test every 10 years.
  
been thinking this for years

or at least when they hit senior status they should re-take a driver's test 
 
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Originally Posted by krazy88s

Nah, how is it good? I wouldn't want my, your or anyone elses daughter or son being followed around by a predator because of a decal. Plus NJ is already well known for profiling. This will make it easier to find someone and weed them out for all the wrong reasons
they address this in the column...
The predatorargument would make more sense, too, if someone came up with a fewstrong examples in places like London, Tokyo or Sydney where decals arecommon.
Butno one has. The closest target for attack is the federal Driver'sPrivacy Protection Act which Congress adopted after a stalker usedmotor vehicle records to track down and kill actress Rebecca Schaefferin California in 1989. But, as a deputy New Jersey attorney generalnoted in this month's state Superior Court challenge, age is notconsidered personal information under federal law. Moreover, guessingsomebody's age is hardly rocket science. All someone must do, the judgetold the plaintiffs, is glance inside the car.
 
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Originally Posted by Chicagos Finest 23

This should be done to multiple DUI offenders.
That was already proposed but shot down because, the truth is, even if you tried to make it anonymous the secret would get out and it would pretty much become a scarlet letter. that being said, I think they're both bad ideas #kanyeshrug they mean well, but it's another tool/excuse to profile
 
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Originally Posted by Physicx

Originally Posted by Durden7

I firmly believe every person should have to re-take some sort of drivers license test every 10 years.
  
been thinking this for years

or at least when they hit senior status they should re-take a driver's test 
Absolutley.

It doesnt even have to be the full test again.  A complete physical with a reaction/alertness part and a short test.

I feel more comfortable with 18 yr olds on the road than I do anyone over the age of 70.
  
 
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Still don't like. Even if all those foreign places don't have an issue with it. I'm not too conerned with what European and Asian countries do. I'm concerned with decals indicating your status as driver, regardless of whether you tell how old a person by looking in their as the judge says or not.

Maybe I feel this way because I know how the NJ state troopers work as young black guy. Or maybe it's because I don't want young minorities to be harassed in a place where profiling is well documented.
 
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