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Red Stickers: The Answer to Teen Car Accident Risks in Massachusetts?

Teen drivers in the state of Massachusetts have to follow strict laws before they’re able to get their unrestricted driver’s license.

They’re required to complete the state’s graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) program, which puts restrictions on them regarding when they can drive and who they can drive with, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Some of these laws are secondary enforcement, meaning that an officer can only pull over one of these young drivers if they’re witnessed breaking another road law first.
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And often, making a traffic stop requires an officer to make a judgement call about a young driver’s age. 17? Or 18?Lawmakers in the state of New Jersey have found a simple way around this enforcement puzzle and both teens and parents aren’t too happy about it.

According to The Washington Post, teens are required to put a red sticker on their license plate to alert law enforcement officials that they are an underaged driver. This is all a part of “Kyleigh’s Law” and officials say that it’s helping officers to keep a closer eye on these vulnerable travelers. Parents are saying that it’s just making them a moving target for predators.

Our Quincy car accident lawyers understand that the first few years of a teen’s driving career are some of the most crucial. During this time, teens develop some of the habits they’re going to hang on to for a lifetime. This is also a time when they’re most likely to get into a car accident. It’s important that we keep an eye on these vulnerable drivers, but there may be no need to point them out on our streets, many parents believe.

It’s important to talk with your teen driver on a regular basis and discuss the importance of safe and responsible driving. Believe it or not, parents are some of the most influential people in a teen’s driving life. Make sure they’re aware of the state’s GDL laws and that they understand the repercussions of not following these laws.

The controversial law from New Jersey, known as “Kyleigh’s Law,” was recently upheld by the state’s Supreme Court. Under this law, drivers will have to place a red sticker on their license plate for one year when they get their permit and for the year after.

“I think it’s good because, like, it can help new drivers and police locate them. But I think it can also cause predators to locate 17-year-old kids,” said a Jersey resident.

Officers and lawmakers say that these stickers are to help enforce safety. They want to keep an eye on when these teens are driving and who is in the car with them. Luckily, the decals only adhere with Velcro and can easily be removed, which is why many teens and parents have chosen not to participate, although participation is mandatory.

You won’t get a moving violation, but you can face a $100 fine for not having the decal on your license plate, in the state of New Jersey that is.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, contact Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation. Call 877-617-5333.

More Blog Entries:

Teen Driver Kills Motorcyclist, Raising Summer Safety Concerns, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, August 1, 2012

Teens at Risks for Sleepy Car Accidents in Quincy and Elsewhere, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, July 26, 2012