TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Ellen Karcher which would establish the Teenage Driver Safety Study Commission was unanimously approved by the Senate Transportation Committee today.
“Getting a driver’s license is an important coming-of-age moment for many teen drivers, but there are also hazards that come along with that,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer. “We need to do what we can to give our young ones the freedom of the road while ensuring that they are safe in exercising that freedom.”
The bill, S-1962, would create the 15-member Teenage Driver Safety Study Commission to review specific dangers for younger drivers. The Commission would be directed to review the availability and effectiveness of driving education and training programs, assess the problems of drunk-driving and aggressive driving in younger drivers, evaluate the effectiveness of defensive driving and accident-prevention programs, and analyze the type of motor vehicle violations that are contributing factors to teenage driving accidents. The Commission would also look closely at the effectiveness of New Jersey’s teenage graduated drivers’ license program, which was implemented in 2002.
“This Commission would have the broad mandate of looking at the specific issues affecting teen drivers across the board, to report back with recommendations to policy makers on how to make our roads safer for teens,” said Senator Karcher. “As a mother of a current teen driver, I can attest that parents worry every time their child picks up the keys, because there are so many dangers out there on our roads. However, with proper direction from experts, we can ensure that safety is a priority for teen drivers in New Jersey.”
The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.