During Back-to-School Months, NJ Officials Stress Parental Role in Teen Driving Safety | Law Firm Newswire

During Back-to-School Months, NJ Officials Stress Parental Role in Teen Driving Safety

Petrillo & Goldberg Law launched a newly designed website.

Petrillo & Goldberg Law launched a newly designed website.

Pennsauken, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) October 15, 2014 – The Garden State is encouraging adult mentoring to amplify the impact of its successful licensing program.

September traditionally marks the back-to-school period in the United States. This year, the mass return to classrooms in the wake of Labor Day, which includes a wave of teenagers driving to school, has been little different. This fall in New Jersey, highway safety officials decided to heighten public awareness of the importance of parental mentoring of teens to help reduce the incidence of traffic accidents among younger motorists in the Garden State.

Nationwide, the incidence of traffic accidents, particularly fatal crashes, among teen motorists has been a serious problem. In 2007 alone, when youths ages 15 to 20 represented nine percent of the population and six percent of licensed drivers in the United States, 19 percent of all traffic fatalities involved crashes in which a driver was 20 years old or younger. Among those crashes, approximately two-thirds of the people killed were the 15- to 20-year-old drivers themselves or their passengers.

In New Jersey, younger drivers represent six percent of all motorists in the state, but they have accounted for 14 percent of all roadway fatalities from 2003 through 2012.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has long stressed that younger drivers who lack the experience behind the wheel or the maturity level that most of their elders possess are more prone to the type of risk-taking behavior that can set the stage for a traffic accident. 

Such traits prompted the development of graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs nationwide to educate teens about roadway hazards, provide practical experience and discourage risk-taking behavior.

“The multistage approach of GDL programs is very useful for getting younger drivers better acquainted with practical driving rules and skills that require road experience for development,” said Steven Petrillo, a prominent attorney in Pennsaucken, New Jersey whose firm specializes in auto accident law. “Unfortunately, though, crashes involving youths are still far too prevalent in our country and in New Jersey.”

New Jersey’s 13-year-old GDL program for novice drivers includes such provisions as an 11:00 p.m. driving curfew, a one-teen passenger limit if a licensed adult is not present in the car, a ban on all wireless devices in the car and a ban on plea bargaining when a teen is sentenced for a driving offense. 

Additionally, New Jersey is the only state that mandates display of a small red license-plate decal to identify permit holders or first-year probationary licensees.

In September, state Division of Highway Traffic Safety (DHTS) officials emphasized the decisive impact of parental involvement with their kids’ driving education. According to state officials, parental involvement in teen driver training later proves itself: 98 percent of these teens do not receive traffic citations in their first year, and 92 percent do not crash their cars in the same first year of driving.

Overall, New Jersey’s GDL requirements seem to have contributed to a major decrease in the number of teen driver roadway deaths in the Garden State. DHTS analysis has shown that fatalities among drivers 20 years old or younger have dropped every year but two in the last 10 years. In 2004, 103 New Jersey teens died behind the wheel. In 2013, a far-reduced 46 lost their lives. 

However, driving instructors have now been complaining for more than a decade that state resources are declining for equipment like driving simulators, which are a vital tool of driver education programs.

“All too often, headway made in public safety programs is at the mercy of funding,” Petrillo said. “Sadly, in this case, the lives and safety of our children are potentially put in greater jeopardy as a result.”

Petrillo & Goldberg Law

6951 North Park Drive
Pennsauken, NJ 08109

19 South 21st Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

70 South Broad Street
Woodbury, NJ 08096

Phone: 856-486-4343
Fax: 856:486-7979

  • Workers’ compensation for worker who contracted Legionnaires’ Disease
    A Pennsylvania court ruled that a man who became disabled after developing Legionnaires’ Disease, is entitled to workers’ compensation and medical benefits. Shawn Gillen said he contracted Legionnaires’ Disease as a result of exposure to contaminated water while he was performing his job responsibilities at Nestle USA Inc. According to court records, Gillen was stationed […]
  • Settlement of labor law accusations against six South Jersey gas stations
    According to their U.S. Labor Department, the proprietors of six South Jersey gas stations will pay over $460,000 to employees who worked 70 hours per week for an amount below the minimum wage, and received no compensation for overtime. USA Gas station owners Prabhit Singh and Harbir Piar were alleged to have violated the department’s […]
  • Governor Christie says he will approve back pay for furloughed workers during government shutdown
    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he would approve legislation to restore compensation for workers who were laid off when the state government was shut down. This marked the second shutdown in the history of the state. A representative from his office said he does not possess the authority to do this on his own. […]
  • Long wait for survivor benefits for the spouse of volunteer
    Following the death of Scott Danielson, a member of the Lakeland Ambulance Squad and Andover Borough Councilman, his wife was left with a number of financial setbacks. Although it has been a year and a half since her husband’s death, she has yet to receive survivor benefits from the state. Shortly after her husband’s death, […]
  • Settlement in retaliation suit grants city employee $75K
    A city worker who claimed he was demoted and terminated after filing two workers’ compensation claims for injuries sustained at work has settled his lawsuit against Galloway for $75,000. Frank Chamberlain stated he received negative reviews from his supervisors and many disciplinary notices after he filed the second workers’ compensation claim in 2011. The suit […]

Tags: , , , , ,

Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required