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New Jersey Law Limits Teen Drivers to Save Lives

When most of today's parents were teens, it was much easier - and much more unsafe - to be a teenage driver.

In most states, teens could get a learner's permit at 15 ½ and an unrestricted license at 16. Teens routinely packed as many friends into their cars as humanly possible.

However, in response to far too many fatal accidents involving teen drivers, teen driving laws are now far more restrictive.

As reported in the New York Times, "Fifteen states and the District of Columbia now prohibit teenagers from driving with another teenager and all but seven states forbid them from driving with more than one." Parents should be aware that New Jersey's Graduated Driver's License (GDL) program is among the toughest in the country. Drivers aged 16 can ONLY drive with an adult in the car. Once they turn 17 they can get a "probationary" license which comes with a lot of restrictions:

  • They must have a reflectorized decal on both license plates to make it easy for police to know that there is a young driver
  • No driving between 11pm and 5am
  • Only one passenger who is not a parent, guardian, or dependent (unless accompanied by an adult driver)
  • No use of cell phones, hand-held video games, or any hands-free interactive, wireless communication devices
  • Must wear seat belts at all times


Certain exemptions are made for employment or religious reasons.

The youngest age at which someone can receive a regular, unrestricted license in New Jersey is 18.
The state of New Jersey put this program in place because it will save lives. Nationwide, 6,000 teens are killed and 300,000 are injured in car accidents every year. Teen drivers are far and away the most dangerous age bracket on the road. New Jersey estimates that the GDL program will reduce deaths and injuries to teens on New Jersey highways by 40%.

If you or a family member of any age have suffered an injury as the result of a New Jersey accident, whether or not it involved a teen driver, contact the New Jersey accident and personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Greenberg, Walden & Grossman, LLC.

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