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Kyleigh’s Law puts the Bullseye on Youth

Written by NYRA May 21, 2010

Kyleigh’s Law, which went into effect on May 1, 2010, adds additional requirements to New Jersey’s Graduated Driver’s License program. The most controversial of these new requirements is that any driver who is under the age of 21 and holds a driver’s permit or probationary license is required to buy a pair of red decals and

display them on the top left corners of their front and rear license plates. The rationale behind this, according to proponents of the law, is that the decals help law enforcement to ensure that GDL holders are following the legal restrictions placed on them (such as curfew laws and passenger limits).

However, the law has created a controversy. For one thing, it could lead to police profiling. Also, the safety of the young drivers under this law has been questioned. A similar law was passed in Florida in the ‘90s (requiring those with a rental vehicle to have indicators on their license plates) and it lead to the murders of nine people. There is a fear that the Kyleigh’s Law decals will identify young, solitary drivers and make them easy targets for people with malicious intentions.

NYRA has been a vocal opponent of Kyleigh’s Law and has gained a substantial amount of press for encouraging New Jersey drivers to protest Kyleigh’s Law. It is illegal for a driver who falls under the requirements of the law to not display the decal; however, there are no limits as to who can buy the decals (or how many). If drivers voluntarily choose to display the decals, the decals would be rendered useless as a way to identify young drivers.

NYRA was out in front on this issue, we were the first organized group to oppose this law. Now, dozens of lawmakers who originally supported the bill are rethinking their support – some have introduced amendments to overturn the decal requirement. We are also pleased to announce the creation of a new local chapter, NYRA-Central Jersey which was created specifically to fight for the overturn of the decal requirement. Chapter founder and president, Bernadette Calderone, is organizing protests against the law. We are currently working with other local leaders working to form additional NYRA chapters in the state. Stay tuned for more developments.

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