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N.J. Passes Bill Requiring Teen Drivers Log Additional Year With Learner’s Permit

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Drivers in New Jersey under 21 with a provisional license must place a red decal seen here at the top left corner of their license plates under the new "Kyleigh's Law." (Credit: CBS 2)

Drivers in New Jersey under 21 with a provisional license must place a red decal seen here at the top left corner of their license plates under the new “Kyleigh’s Law.” (Credit: CBS 2)

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DENVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Teen drivers could soon face tougher requirements in the Garden State.

The state Legislature has passed a new bill that would require young drivers to log more hours on the road, CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reports.

First came the red decals on their license plates and now teen drivers in New Jersey could be required to spend a year practicing with their learner’s permit before getting their probationary licenses.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” one teen said.

But one new driver said it’s necessary.

“I just got my license right now and I see some people on the road … there’s always that kid on the road that does not know what they’re doing,” said Sean Noonan of Hackettstown.

The legislation would also require parents of of permit holders to take a teen driving safety course, either in person or online.

“It’s going to be tough on us parents. It’s tough enough to get them through the course as it is,” said Toni Kaufmann of Denville.

Kaufmann’s son was getting his license Tuesday. She said she doesn’t like the proposed rules.

“He just went through the six months of training and did a great job. He’s a competent driver. I think the test is enough,” Kaufmann said.

The sponsor of the bill said statistics show teen drivers, whose parents get involved, are half as likely to crash.

Still, many said the decal law, inspired by Kyleigh D’Alessio, who was killed in a crash, made them feel like targets.

“I didn’t really use mine a lot because my parents didn’t want me to ’cause it was dangerous and all that,” said Katie Phillips of Mendham.

Governor Chris Christie still needs to approve the new teen driving legislation. It’s unclear whether he’ll  approve or put the brakes on it.

If the governor signs the bill into law the new teen driving regulations would go into effect in 2013.

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