Press Release – TRENTON, N.J. – Looking to make New Jersey’s roads safer, Assembly Republican Whip Scott T. Rumana and Assemblyman David Russo sponsor legislation that requires special lerner’s permit holders under the age of 21 to complete at least 50 hours of practice driving. Rumana, the ranking Republican member of the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee, and Russo introduced the bill Thursday to coincide with “Teen Driving Safety Week” (October 19-25).
“Making our roads as safe as possible for all drivers should always be a priority,” said Rumana, R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris.“ A good place to start is with young drivers since inexperience, distraction and speeding are the leading causes of teen crashes. Practice doesn’t always make ‘perfect,’ but these additional training hours will better prepare our young citizens for when they get their licenses. Practicing driving after dark should prove especially beneficial since this age group is involved in more accidents late in the day and at night.”
The bill, A-3876, changes the state’s graduated drivers licensing (GDL) law by requiring special lerner’s permit holders under 21 to complete at least 50 hours of practice driving, including 10 hours after dark, in addition to the required six-hour behind-the-wheel driver’s education. Examination permit holders between the ages of 17 and 20 will have the following options:
• Complete an approved six-hour behind-the-wheel course and 50 hours of certified practice driving, including 10 hours after dark or,
• Complete 100 hours of certified practice driving, including 20 hours after dark.
“The better prepared a young driver is when he or she gets behind the wheel, the safer it makes our roads for everyone,” said Russo, R-Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Morris. “We know that cell phones, alcohol and speeding all are major causes of teen crashes and deaths. These required extra hours of practice should help save lives.”
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 16 and 20 in New Jersey and across the nation.