Young Drivers: Discriminated

In high school, one of the greatest things to happen to any kid was when they finally got their license.  It provides teenagers with an unparalleled sense of freedom and independence.  And lets face it, what else do teenagers want?  But with his newfound independence comes huge responsibility.  Operating a two-ton vehicle can be difficult and the risk of hurting yourself, your passengers, or other drivers is high. Thus it is reasonable that in the state of New Jersey, a probationary license is given at first, which restricts some of the activities of new drivers.  These restrictions include only having one other person in the car at a time and no driving between midnight and 5 a.m..  These restrictions last for a full year until a regular license is issued.

I can remember distincitly when my best friend finally got her license.  One evening, the car was full of girls and it was approaching midnight.  My friend, trying not break all the rules, was speeding around town trying to drop everyone off before midnight.  Unfortunately, she was pulled over by a cop for speeding and then also written up for having too many people in the car.  In this case, these restrictions actually caused the young driver to act more recklessly, when this action is exactly what these laws intended to eliminate.

In 2010, Kyleigh’s Law was passed in NJ which required all individuals under 21 with provisional licenses to purchase decals and place them on the licenses plates of their cars.  Essentially, this law forced teenagers to buy a sticker which identified them as new drivers so that police could more easily identify law-breakers.  This law seems ridiculous to me and poses many ethical problems.  Firstly, the sticker could be used by sex-offenders and other criminals who want to identify and target young drivers.  This puts these teens in great danger.  Furthermore, the sticker could be used by police to profile drivers who purposefully seek to get young teens in trouble.  This law clearly discriminates against teens and puts them at a disadvantage, especially when compared with other drivers.

Furthermore, much of the reasoning for enacting Kyleigh’s law was to lessen the amount of deaths due to crashes by young drivers.  But if you ask me, identifying cars with a sticker will do nothing to eliminate the risky behavior and inexperience of new drivers.   This law, along with the provisional license restrictions seem to do more harm then good and in my opinion, should be revoked.


3 thoughts on “Young Drivers: Discriminated

  1. My cousin, who also lives in New Jersey, recently got her license and ran into the same problem. My aunt was outraged by the law, and found that you can keep a note in your car saying that it is a family vehicle. It would be a little outrageous for the law to require families to put stickers on all their cars, just incase their new driver drives a different car one day.

  2. I know that a lot of parents in my community supported their children in their decision to avoid the sticker. Everything you said is exactly right. Having a sticker on your car won’t make you drive any more responsibly, it simply allows for everyone else on the road to know that you are a teenager. The amount of age profiling that goes on by police in small New Jersey communities is borderline ridiculous, and driving regulations are at the forefront of this problem.

  3. I’ve never heard of this law and am completely surprised a law like this would pass. It makes me wonder what the overall goal of this law is. If police can easily identify young drivers and therefore would potentially pull them over more frequently, what does achieve? A few fine revenues for the state? Or do they really think that this law benefits teen drivers?

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