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Red License Plate Decals May Reduce Teenage Car Crashes in New Jersey

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Posted on Nov 14, 2012

A new study reports that Kyleigh’s Law may be responsible for reducing the number of teenage car crashes in New Jersey

The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia reported their results last week in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The Center studied crash data both before and after the implementation of a New Jersey law that requires teenagers to display red decals on their license plates. These decals are sold at the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission offices for $4 and are intended to help police officers identify drivers with probationary licenses.

The law, which was named for a 16-year-old New Jersey girl who was killed while riding in a car driven by a teenager with a probationary license in 2006, took effect in May 2010. Interestingly, the rate of crashes involving probationary drivers decreased by nine percent in the two years after the law was instated.

The study revealed that the rate of crashes among teenage drivers went from nearly 150 per 10,000 drivers before the law to about 130 per 10,000 drivers after it was enacted. The number of accidents after midnight, when probationary drivers are not allowed on the road, went down by 13 percent.

The authors of the study evaluated the number of accidents and estimated that the law has prevented roughly 1,624 crashes since its inception.

Probationary licenses are restricted under the state’s graduated driver’s license law. These restrictions include limits on the number of passengers allowed to ride in the novice driver’s vehicle and an 11:00 p.m. curfew for drivers under the age of 21.


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