New Jersey's GDL Sticker Saves Lives

Can a license plate sticker prevent teen driving accidents? Yes, according to research from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The hospital's study looked at the effectiveness of New Jersey's Graduated Driver Licensing program for teens and found that the decal requirement prevented 1,624 teen driving accidents in its first year.

Most state's GDL laws include supervised driving, a ban on nighttime driving and restrictions on passenger load. Since May 2010, all New Jersey drivers ages 16 to 20 are required to display two reflective license plate decals as part of the state's GDL program. Called Kyleigh's Law — named after Kyleigh D'Alessio, a New Jersey teen killed in a car driven by a driver on probation — the decal alerts police that the teen driver has a restricted license, allowing them to spot GDL infractions.

And according to CHOP, the decals are effective. It used New Jersey's licensing and crash record databases to follow the program and measure GDL-related citations from Jan. 1, 2008, to May 31, 2011.

"The rate of intermediate driver crashes significantly declined during the period after the decal requirement went into effect. The number of crashes prevented is equivalent to the number of students attending a large high school. New Jersey youth and other road users are safer as a result of the decals," Allison Curry, director of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at CHOP, said in a statement.

New Jersey is the only state that requires the decals, and the study's authors hope more will follow suit. According to CHOP, six other states have considered a decal requirement — Kentucky, Michigan, Alaska, Iowa, Minnesota and North Carolina — but legislation is still pending.

"New Jersey already has one of the most comprehensive GDL programs in the country and also one of the lowest teen driver crash fatality rates," the study's authors said in a statement.

Click here for your state's GDL laws.

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By Jennifer Geiger | October 26, 2012 | Comments (5)


Freddie Holmes

If this approach reduces the number of accidents, then by all means we should promote it.
immobilier expert

OK, but...

Sounds like a good program, but it assumes that students are the owners of the car and therefore parents/adults driving the car will be wrongfully pulled over, despite knowing they are driving a "decaled" car. Also, this doesn't really prevent bad driving per se, but rather simply prevents it from happening in the first place. This doesn't teach students to not drive at night (or its dangers) or carry fewer passengers due to distractions. I agree of the merits of the program, but disagree as to whether it's teaching anyone anything.

Matt C.

I don't like that it is extended all the way to 20, but I do think we should make it a lot harder for kids 16 to 18 to drive. Kids will value the car more if they have to work harder to earn the privilege to drive it.

It's not the decals, it the new rules. Most teens take the decals off so they drive more carefully. And why do they take them off? Because in many areas the police target and harass them.

Accidents happened and will keep happening, but when it comes to ways of reducing it then I'm in. Ed of

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