Red Flag For Teen Drivers


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If you’ve got a teenage driver in your family take note: Starting May 1, there will be some big changes in New Jersey’s graduated driver’s license laws.

Thanks to a piece of legislation known as “Kyleigh’s Law“, drivers under age 21 will soon have to display a special red reflecting decal on the front and back plates of any car they drive. The old provisional license is being replaced with something called a probationary license–and teen drivers will be even further limited in when they can drive and the passengers they can carry.

The stickers go on when your teen driver gets a permit or probationary license and stay on until he or she gets a full privilege license. The decals can be bought from any DMV office at a cost of $4 a pair. They’ve got to be on every car your kid is likely to drive, and don’t even think of trying to ignore the new law: The fine is $100.

Like so many laws, this one was passed with the best of intentions. The law is named for Kyleigh D’Alessio, a Morris County teenager who died in a car accident at age 16, a passenger in a car driven by another teen. Police officials say it will help them identify drivers who should be following the probationary rules. But some Verona parents are privately fretting about the havoc the law is likely to reach on carefully crafted carpools to and from sports games and late-night jobs. Teen drivers will not be able to drive after 11:01 p.m. and before 5 a.m. and will be limited to just one passenger other than a parent, guardian or supervising driver older than 21.

The state Motor Vehicle Commission, which released the slightly dorky video below, has information on the new rules here.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


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