Car-tag decals are saving young drivers' lives

A new requirement is intended to preserve more lives of the young as the license plates of cars driven by provisional drivers under 21 must have a red sticker.

For those who consider that this measure given by the government has little purpose, they must look at this move by authorities as marshaled forces to save lives as mega-storm Sandy washed over the region. There may be considered just a small public effort showing how smart government intervention can protect residents.

According to a study published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine by researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, there are more than1,600 young drivers who are likely prevented from meeting traffic accidents as New Jersey requires young drivers to place a red decal on their license plates.

By comparing monthly accident rates for roughly two years before the decal law became effective in May 2010 and about a year afterward, researchers found that overall, accidents involving young drivers declined by 9 % and crashes after midnight fell by 13 %.

By means of the red decals, police are alerted that the car is being operated by a teen motorist who have to follows certain driving restrictions. Until that reach the age of age 17, they are not allowed to have more than one passenger in their cars unless qn adult is with them. No young driver is allowed to operate a car after 11 p.m.

Due to the enforcement of the decal law, police have increased issuing written tickets to young drivers by 14%. The result is chilling the motorists but it is able to reduce reckless behavior.
There were dissenters who challenged the law by claiming it threatens the privacy of young drivers and would cause police to profile them. But the state Supreme Court upheld the decal law last August.

Young drivers must be treated with caution as neuroscientists proved that before the age of 20, the frontal lobes of a person’s brain which is used in evaluating the consequences of actions, are not fully developed. New Jersey is the first state with a decal law.

When you consider car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers, a red decal on a license plate isn’t too much to ask if it will save lives. Pennsylvania and Delaware should take notice.


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