The reflective red decals tell a law enforcement officer immediately that a Graduated Driver License holder is behind the wheel.

Teen Driving Rules Stiffening

The latest example is a reflective decal that will be required on the front and back license plates of New Jersey drivers who have a Graduated Driver License, as of May 1.

The Allstate Foundation, which says Graduated Driver Licensing is "one of the few things that has been proven to save teen lives," has given a $75,000 grant to the Governors Highway Safety Association to help State Highway Safety Offices mobilize teens to promote safe driving during National Youth Traffic Safety Month in May 2011. GHSA announced the grant Monday. The latest example of GDL in action is a reflective decal that will be required on the front and back license plates of New Jersey drivers under age 21 with a Graduated Driver License starting May 1.

New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commission announced the decal program last week. The decals cost $4 per pair. Measuring 1.5 inches by 1 inch, the decals are removable so a driver not covered by the law can remove them. Failing to display the decals during operation of a vehicle by a learner's permit, examination permit, or probationary license holder who is subject to the GDL requirements is a violation punishable by a $100 fine. Also as of May 1, New Jersey GDL drivers are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle after 11:01 p.m. and before 5 a.m.; may not use a hand-held or hands-free interactive, wireless communication device; and may transport only certain types of passengers, including parent(s), guardian(s), or dependent(s).

New Jersey MVC offers GCL information here and information for parents about teen driving at www.njteendriving.com/.

GHSA Chairman Vernon F. Betkey, Jr. said the association is "very pleased that The Allstate Foundation is taking the initiative to help advance teen driving safety, and we look forward to hearing the creative ways that states will use the funds to empower teens to be safer drivers." GHSA asked member State Highway Safety Offices to apply for the money by June 30, 2010.

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