N.J. Lawmaker: Parents Should Take Refresher Driver’s Course In Advance Of Teens Getting Licenses

Many Residents Agree, But Some Say Why Should Everyone Be Penalized?

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.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports: Lawmaker Wants Tougher Standards

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.

1010 WINS’ John Montone reports: Mixed Reaction From Parents, Teens On New Bill

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.

What do you think? Sound off  below in our comments section…

  • Scott

    This is just another clever way for the state to get revenue from yet another fee. You can add this cost to all the other car related costs, of which there are many, then ask yourself is it really worth having a car anymore ? For myself, I find the answer is no when taking into account Insurance, tolls, car cost, Maintaining, dealership costs, taxes, cops despereate to give tickets (more revenue), parking, registration, license renewal, etc etc etc.

  • john benvenuto

    At 18 your considered an adult and should have the rights and privileges. I’m 45 years old am I a better driver today than I was at 18 absolutely, but if a criminal court can try you as an adult at 18 because they believe you have the mental capacity to know better it should be no different driving.

    • Cos

      Great point! I couldn’t agree with you more…!

  • Joe Schmo

    RAISE the driving age. LOWER the drinking age.

    Underage driving much easier to enforce.

  • john

    How do people UNDER 21 get back and forth to school and work?

    The same way people OVER 21 get back and forth to school and work without a car.

    Just because you turn a certain age doesn’t necessarily imply that you are ready to take on new responsibilities.

  • p8nt

    If only Driver’s Ed, actually taught people how to drive, and only if the DMV tests weren’t so pathetically easy, and if only driving was viewed as a Privilege, and Driver Responsibility was taken more seriously. In other countries, a Driver’s License is considered a great responsibility to have, not to mention an investment due to the high cost of obtaining one.
    Sadly, too few teenagers actually bother with the GDL rules. I guess they just think that they know more than everyone else. Ignorance is bliss.

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  • diver

    Typical of how “government” solves a problem. More useless regulations. I doubt that a parent taking a class is going to prevent a teen from doing something when the parent is not there. If what JMS said is true there is clearly no need for more regs. Just inforce the current laws and stop the political grandstanding.

  • j

    The FBI and DEA fabricate evidence, steal from suspects and use murder to close bad cases.

    Corrupt D.O.J. employees tamper with my car with the intention of causing an auto accident.

  • JMS

    A 17 year old child has no business driving on the GSP.
    Driving is inherently dangerous especially on NJ’s lousy, crowded roads so exceptional skill and maturity is required.

    Also, I thought it was illegal for a 17 year old driver to have more than one passenger due the increased likely hood of distraction (a leading cause of accidents). This tragic loss could possibly have been prevented if existing NJ MV laws were obeyed. This grand standing assemblyman’s proposal is worthless and will only create more bureaucracy. It is up to parents to teach responsible behavior to their children.

    Finally, I feel the driving age to be raised to 18.

    • Jojo

      @JMS, it is illegal for a 17 year old to have more than one passenger in the car. Obviously the parents had to know he was driving a bunch of kids. If it were up to me the driving age would be 21.

      • Kazoo

        JoJo are you for real?! The driving age 21?! How do people under 21 get back and forth to College and or a job. Please think before you post

        • p8nt

          Walking, Bicycle, Skateboard, Rollerblades, Public Transportation, Mom & Dad

          • Cos

            So, at age 18 they can defend our country using M-16’s, grenades and other assorted deadly devices of ware – but they shouldn’t drive…? – HUH?

            • p8nt

              That argument gets played out way too many times, for anything. Considering the draft has not been in effect since the Vietnam war, its a really pointless argument to make. At age 18, a teen can choose to enlist or not to, what happens after that, is the product of their own decision.
              Though, I must say that other societies have different standards, more so because said society is more responsible.

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