TRENTON – Legislation authored by Senator Linda R. Greenstein, D-Plainsboro, that requires New Jersey driving tests to include the dangers of aggressive driving was signed into law today by Governor Christie.
“All you have to do is spend a few hours on our crowded roadways and it becomes apparent that aggressive driving is a problem that needs to be addressed,” Greenstein said. “Our own Attorney General’s office has called the problem of aggressive driving ‘epidemic,’ so it’s high time we addressed it at the earliest stage of testing for a driver’s license.”
Under the law, the New Jersey driver’s license written examination will include the dangers of driving a vehicle in an aggressive manner, such as tailgating, making erratic traffic lane changes and unexpectedly altering the speed of a vehicle, among other actions.
The legislation requires that aggressive driving information also be included in the curriculum for high school driver education courses and in informational brochures distributed by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to parents and guardians.
Greenstein says she wrote the legislation to help further address the issue of road rage after Jessica Rogers, a former Hamilton resident, was paralyzed at age 16 in a crash resulting from road rage. In 2012, the governor signed legislation co-sponsored by Greenstein and 14th District Assemblymen Wayne DeAngelo and Daniel Benson that cracked down on road rage. Under that law, drivers who experience road rage and cause serious injuries like those suffered by Rogers now face three to five years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
“When you consider that speed is the most common form of aggressive driving and that one-third of all accidents and two-thirds of all fatal crashes are speed-related, it becomes apparent why we need to do what we can to stop this dangerous practice,” Greenstein added. “Starting at the beginning – the driving test – is a good place to help put a stop to this kind of reckless driving.”
The bill passed both houses unanimously. The law takes effect on Dec. 1.
“It’s an important step that will make our roads safer for our families and ultimately save lives,” Greenstein said.