Four tires, three mirrors, two pedals, one wheel…and a small red sticker that screams to the world “I’m an inexperienced driver!”
A law recently passed in New Jersey will require teenage drivers under 21 to buy a $4, red decal to put on their license plate by May 1, and an initial fine of $100 will be given to any youth seen without one.
The goal is to allow police to be able to easily find young drivers who are breaking restrictions on their junior license or learner’s permit.
“Things like a curfew, making sure they’re not having too many passengers in the car, they’re complying with the ban on hand held and hands free cell phones and so forth,” said Pam Fischer, director of New Jersey’s Division of Highway Traffic Safety according to KYW1060 news radio.
But how would students at Penn Manor feel if a similar law came to Pennsylvania?
“It wouldn’t be bad because then the people who tailgate you wouldn’t,” said Kristina Simon.
“I wouldn’t take offense to it. It’s only temporary,” said James Servansky.
“I personally don’t like it because people could make assumptions about your driving skills,” said Amy Feeser.
“On the other hand, it isn’t a bad idea in the sense that you’re making other drivers aware you are new to the road, so they should be wary,” said Feeser.
According to car-accidents.com, 5,000 teens ages 16 to 20 die each year because of car accidents and 400,000 from ages 16-20 will be seriously injured.
Will this law help save lives?
“Identifiers save lives because teens are more likely to drive safely and stay compliant with the law if they know their cars are easily identified,” said New Jersey State Attorney General Paula Dow, according to northjersey.com.
As driving laws such as this continue to get firmer on youth drivers, officials believe it’s worth it.
“The benefits far outweigh the risks,” said Dow.
By Mike Nitroy