SAYREVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey parents could find themselves going back to the classroom and taking remedial driver’s education — so their teenage kids can get a license.
It’s just one of the new requirements under a teen driver safety law proposed by lawmakers, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.
The roads of the Garden State are littered with the crunched metal carcasses of cars driven by teenagers who get into accidents.
In 2009 there were nearly 50,000 crashes involving drivers between 16 and 20 years of age. That’s a teen-involved car crash in New Jersey every 10 minutes.
That is the reason why Assembly Transportation Chairman John Wisniewski has introduced a bill that, among other things, would require parents of teenagers learning to drive to take a driver’s refresher course in order for the son or daughter to get a license. And that’s so kids can’t pull the wool over their parents’ eyes.
“So when they say ‘hey I’m going to pick up my three friends and drive them to school’ mom and dad will be able to say ‘no you can’t; the law only allows you one passenger,’” said Assemblyman Wisniewski, D-Sayreville.
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The law will also require parents to accompany their kids on 100 hours of practice driving, including 20 hours at night. If not, the child will have to wait until a year until he or she is 18 to get behind the wheel.
“There is a consequence in not fulfilling these and there is a consequence in fraudulently certifying,” Wisniewski said. “The kid will lose their license.”
Sayreville High School senior Mohammad Rehan is four square behind the bill.
“I feel like it is a very good idea because the parents will get involved and because driving is one of the biggest rates of teen dying,” Rehan said.
But not all Sayreville seniors agree.
“I haven’t gotten into an accident or anything like that so I don’t see any reason they should change any laws,” Thomas Danwart said.
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Parents Kramer spoke with seemed encouraged by the proposal.
“I think it’s a good idea. I have an older daughter, 14, and I could see myself going with her,” one Old Bridge parent said.
“It’s a good idea. From what I’ve heard about the accidents with teens there were some very horrible accidents and it was due to their inexperience,” Sayreville parent Andre Pontone said.
The bill is expected to pass both houses of the Legislature by January. Then Gov. Chris Christie will have to decide whether to sign it into law.
The parental driving course will de developed after the bill becomes law. A decision will also be made where it will be given, including an online version.
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