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New Jersey lawmakers propose strict requirements for teen drivers

Numerous recent studies have concluded that car accidents are one of the leading causes of death for teenagers. As a result, state and federal traffic safety agencies have been working to lower the risk of car accident injuries and fatalities to teenage drivers by increasing the driving experience and skill that is required to get a driver's license.

This week, New Jersey legislators advanced a bill that, if passed, would give the state some of the strictest teen driver safety laws in the country. The proposed law also breaks ground by requiring additional action and supervision by teen drivers' parents.

Under the new bill, which was advanced by the state Assembly Transportation Committee after a unanimous vote, would lengthen the current driver permit term requirement from six months to one year. In addition, it would require that 16-year-old permit holders complete 50 hours of driving practice, in addition to the six hours of professional driver training that is already required under the current law.

Interestingly, new drivers who are 17 years and older are not required to complete the six hours of professional driving instruction. However, if they elect to opt out of professional training, they must complete 100 hours of driving practice. They could also choose to do the standard six hours of training and 50 hours of practice, instead.

In addition, parents of teen drivers would be required to take a teen driver orientation course, which would likely be available both online and in person. Parents or other supervising adults would then be responsible for logging their teenager's practice time on an honor system. Hopefully, parents would take the requirements seriously, in order to decrease their teen's chances of being involved in a car accident.

If you have been injured in a car accident involving an inexperienced driver, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: The Star-Ledger, "Stricter laws may leave N.J. teens facing tougher road to driver's license," Mike Frassinelli, Nov. 28, 2011

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