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Survey seeks feedback on Kyleigh’s Law, graduated license decals

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

Here’s a chance to have your say about the “Kyleigh’s Law” decals that probationary drivers under 21 must stick on their vehicles: Bergen County Assemblyman Bob Schroeder has posted on online survey for feedback about the requirement.

NJ State Assemblyman Bob Schroeder

Schroeder, who’s been leading the fight to repeal the decal portion of New Jersey’s Graduated Drivers’ License Law, said police have had difficulty enforcing the law apparently because so many people aren’t complying. Police are also dealing with drastic staffing cutbacks.

Informal surveys put the non-compliance number at 90 percent.

A formal review will “help determine what adjustments would help us achieve the law’s original goal, which is to increase teen driver safety,” Schroeder said.

A partial survey by State Attorney General Paula Dow found only three reported incidents tied to the decals, but even she admitted the review lacked important details — beginning with how many are actually being used.

Nor did it say how many crashes involved teens who shouldn’t have been behind the wheel.

Recent reports indicate that only 1,838 citations have been issued for failure to display the decals when driving since Kyleigh’s Law took effect in May 2010.

Schroeder told CLIFFVIEW PILOT several probationary drivers statewide have said “their decals had gotten stolen but they didn’t bother replacing them or filing a police report.”

A bunch of fatal accidents the past year involved teen drivers who weren’t using the stickers, he added.

“We need to determine once and for all whether or not our teen drivers are actually following the GDL guidelines,” Schroeder said, “and if not, why?”

The survey will be available online at www.robertschroeder.com through the end of August.

Schroeder said he will give Dow the results for her consideration before she produces a final report on the GDL program in October in which the AG is expected to recommend whether to keep or repeal the law.

The law is named after 16-year-old Kyleigh D’Alessio, a star athlete from Morris County who was killed in 2006 while riding in a vehicle driven by another teen. It was created as part of the GDL program, which prohibits young motorists from driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., with passenger restrictions, as well.

The goal was to reduce the number of teen-involved car accidents in New Jersey, while making the roads safer for everybody.

While many applaud the law’s intent, fears continue of the potential for the scarlet decals to attract predators, given that only probationary drivers under 21 must use them. Those who don’t can be fined $100.

ALSO SEE: N.J. Attorney General: Kyleigh’s Law isn’t here to stay — yet

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