License Plate Sticker for New Jersey Teens Has Everybody Angry

Decal poster

About 250,000 young New Jersey drivers are subject to a new law requiring a red sticker on their car’s license plate. Most don’t like the law, some won’t comply with it, and their parents have been vocal in protesting it.

The stickers are part of “Kyleigh’s Law,” passed in a nearly unanimous vote last year by the state legislature to restrict teenage night driving and prohibit texting and messaging, talking on a cell phone, and driving with more than one passenger in the car.

There isn’t much controversy over these provisions. But those fighting the law maintain that targeting teen cars gives a green light to sex predators. And that’s their main argument. Which is really no argument, given the way teens promote their own visibility via Facebook, erratic driving, etc. One parent said:

It seems to me, as a parent of two new female drivers, that we should be more worried about the predator who is waiting by our schools for our kids to go driving by.

I think folks are really fighting the law because it’s another way to get back at Big Government, which activity, as you know, is all the rage now.

Parents and legislators are getting into the act.

Debbie Minnick, a mother in Hamilton Township, recently took her 16-year-old to the Motor Vehicle Commission for a learner’s permit. The clerk told her she needed to buy red decals for her daughter.

Ms. Minnick’s response: “When hell freezes over, I’ll buy those stickers,” she said.

Legislators like Assemblyman Bob Schroeder are raising the flag of “safety for our children” and putting up bills for repeal. Where were they when the law first passed? Why haven’t they protested the incredible numbers of teenage driving deaths?

The cops argue that they cannot enforce the law if they can’t tell who is subject to the special restrictions on teenage drivers (driving at night, etc.). And so we have another classic case of Authority versus the Individual.

The Newark Star-Ledger did a funny video and story on all this, with some great New Jersey characters saying some great New Jersey things.

Will the new N.J. teen driver decal law actually stick?

Well, who’s right in all this? The kids, the parents, the cops? Let us have your opinion.

—jgoods

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2 Comments

  1. These kids are far more likely to be involved (and injured or killed) in a car crash during restricted times or activities than being targeted by a predator. The solution is simple– remove their driving privileges until they reach 21 if they are caught out of compliance. I don’t like every law either, but this one was enacted because a substantial number of teens have proven that restrictions are needed and if they don’t like it, they shouldn’t be on the road. The fact that some parents are upset should be of no concern either. They are often the facilitators of bad teen behavior and risk taking because they don’t care enough to monitor and control their child’s activity.

  2. A P plate is required in Australia for new licencees this is about 6×6 inch square and must be displayed front and rear or licence cancelled. Helps to identify which car in traffic may do something stupid and identifies restricted drivers to police. A GOOD idea

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