Teenage drivers, for those of you new to our blog at Serious Accidents, are one of the top causes of car accidents.  Our firm’s auto accident lawyers in San Diego see crashes on the road every day that involve youthful drivers making rookie mistakes.

Now, according to a report from NorthJersey.com, Garden State teenage drivers will currently be identified by a red decal that is placed on their license plate.  This law is applicable for any motorist under the age of 21 possessing permit or a probationary license.

Teen drivers are now identified in New Jersey by their license plates’ red decals.

New Jersey is the first state in America to initiate a policy like this one, which went into effect on May 1, 2010 in conjunction with Kyleigh’s Law, a law named after a teenage driver whose wrongful death was caused by an auto accident in 2006.

Auto insurance rates of teen drivers are usually higher because their inexperience with a vehicle can often lead to serious auto accidents.  Teenage drivers must take driver’s education during their high school years, but behind-the-wheel training is no longer mandatory.  Instead, six hours must be logged through a private school or program.  Now there is one more step teens must take before hitting the road safely.

The new decals are red, Velcro-like tags that must be displayed in the top left corner of both license plates on any vehicle driven by a motorist with, according to the article, a “special learner’s permit, examination permit or probationary license, which dictates that the driver is subject to all graduated driver license (GDL) rules and restrictions, including Kyleigh’s Law.”

A $100 fine is issued to new and teen drivers who violate the law, but some loop holes are already being discovered in an effort to dodge the mandate.

“It’s written into the law that the decals must be removable, so unrestricted drivers can use a vehicle without having the decal on the license plate,” Michael Horan, New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission spokesman in regards to violators removing or simply not getting the decals.  “It’s a very well-known law.  It’s a personal choice to purchase the decal or not.  But like any motor vehicle law, it’s the responsibility of the drivers to follow it or suffer the consequences.”

To those thinking it is a way for the state of New Jersey to make money, Horan says think again.  Each pair of decals costs $4.00, which is strictly to cover the cost of production from the Motor Vehicle Commission agency, with no profit left over.  84,000 pairs of decals have been sold to date, with close to 250,000 that the state requires to be on display.

Our firm’s San Diego auto accident lawyers believe that this new law and these decals could save lives of teenage drivers.  We hope that all states institute this law and make it safer for all motorists, including teenagers and freshman drivers, to be on the road.

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