The New Jersey State Assembly recently voted 52-26 in favor of a measure that would stiffen the requirements a young person must satisfy in order to obtain a driver’s license.
Under the new bill, all teens under the age of 18 who apply for a learner’s permit would be obligated to complete a teen driver program with at least one of their parents.
Additionally, all drivers under the age of 21 would be required to log 50 hours of practice driving before getting a probationary license.
Drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 would be forced to have a permit for an entire year, opposed to the current requirement of 6 months.
Moreover, the bill would amplify the 6 hour requirement for certified driving instruction to one-on-one instruction for 6 hours.
The New Jersey State Senate has not yet voted on their version of the bill and Governor Christie vetoed an identical bill earlier this year.
Nevertheless, proponents of the bill remain undaunted.
Assemblyman Albert Coutinho explained, “These enhanced requirements will help keep everyone safer, both the teens learning to navigate behind the wheel and everyone else on the road, as well.”
On the same day, the Senate Judiciary Committee discussed, but did not vote on, a provision that would relax penalties for drunken driving and allow convicted offenders to get restricted permits for work-related driving.
Supporters claim that this provision would cut down on drunken driving.
In its current form, the bill lowers fines, jail time, and license suspension lengths for DUI/DWI offenses.
However, supporters argue it will make the roads safer by implementing stricter technological requirements like ignition interlock devices.
According to these legislators, the interlock devices can be installed in vehicles and would require a breath test before the vehicle would be able to start as well as at random times while driving.
Senator Nicholas Scutari, the Committee Chairman and the bill’s primary sponsor, told reporters that the measure is a step in the right direction, but it needs some more work to truly safeguard the public from drunk drivers.
Mr. Scutari noted, “What we want to do is move to a more scientific way of ridding our roads of drunk driving without unnecessary penalties, but having the maximum prohibitive and protective effect on the public.”
Ultimately, should these bills pass, their fate rests squarely with the governor who can either veto them or sign them into law.
If you or a loved one was recently cited for DWI/DUI in NY or NJ or had your license suspended, contact an experienced traffic ticket attorney today.