NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New figures released by the New Jersey State Police show that the state’s tough young driver laws seem to be working.
In 2012, the state set a near record low with 20 drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 killed on state roadways. The data, prepared at the request of the New Jersey Teen Safe Driving Coalition, indicates that the numbers are on track to be even lower this year.
New Jersey’s graduated driver license law sets a curfew of 11 p.m., restricts the number of passengers a driver can have and requires a red sticker be placed on the car’s bumper to indicate the driver is inexperienced.
Bergen Record Road Warrior columnist John Cichowski told WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot on Tuesday that the numbers show the strict driving laws have made an impact.
“In 2010, 19 teen drivers were killed. And that’s the year that they can’t drive past 11 p.m., that’s the curfew. There’s a limit on the number of passengers, for good reason. Every time you add another teen passenger, the potential for a crash goes up by 50 percent,” Cichowski told Cabot. “Plus, New Jersey is the only state that requires these young drivers for at least the first year, year and a half of the GDL, to put a red sticker on their bumpers to identify them as graduated driver license people.”
Cichowski said the data shows that fatal teen crashes are responsible for many more deaths. The state police statistics showed the full impact of the fatal teen driver crashes.
“For every teen driver killed, there were two others who also died. Drivers of other cars of all ages, passengers in either of the cars or pedestrians as well,” Cichowski told Cabot.
Congress recently approved a $105 billion transportation measure that includes funding for teen safety initiatives. But Cichowski noted the government requires states comply with the 10 p.m. curfew in order to qualify for federal funding.