It is important to help your students understand that the ultimate goal of the GDL program is to protect their lives-and the lives of their passengers and others on the road.
Effective May 1, 2010, all GDL holders must display a decal on their vehicle when behind the wheel.
Studies show that a young driver's risk of being involved in a car crash is highest within his/her first 12-24 months of driving.
If a person is under 21 years old or has never had a driver license, New Jersey requires that they complete a period of supervised driving before getting a basic driver license. The New Jersey Graduated Driver License (GDL) program introduces driving privileges in phases. There are three options to complete the program:
Each option has different steps, but upon completion of all steps, drivers are awarded an unrestricted basic driver license.
Drivers holding a GDL license have the following restrictions placed upon them:*
*The following changes to the law take effect on May 1, 2010: The curfew will become 11:01 p.m. to 5 a.m., while the name of the provisional license will change to “probationary”. In addition, a probationary driver will be permitted to transport only one passenger besides his or her dependents. (NOTE: This one passenger restriction does not apply if the driver is accompanied by a parent or guardian.) All GDL holders (with permit or probationary licenses) under 21 years of age will also be required to display a decal on their vehicles when behind the wheel.
There will be NO grandfathering of existing permit and probationary license holders. Regardless of how much time a GDL holder has remaining on his or her permit or probationary license, she/he must begin abiding by these requirements beginning May 1, 2010.
For more information on GDL requirements and restrictions, click here.
For more information on the new laws and decal FAQs click here.
The NJ Motor Vehicle Commission is charged with designing and distributing the decal, which must be displayed on a vehicle’s front and rear license plate when a permit or probationary license holder under 21 years of age is driving. The decal will be:
Studies show that a young driver's risk of being involved in a car crash is highest within his/her first 12-24 months of driving. An average of 6,000 teens die in car crashes nationally each year. An additional 300,000 teens sustain injuries in crashes; many of those injuries are serious and often life-altering. In fact, car crashes are the leading cause of brain injury in teens. By delaying full driving privileges so that teens can gain driving experience under low-risk conditions, comprehensive GDL programs can reduce these deaths and injuries by approximately 40%. The ultimate goal of the GDL program is to protect the lives of young drivers-and the lives of their passengers and others on the road.
As of September 2008, GDL holders can no longer "plea down" to "no point" offenses. If a GDL holder accumulates three or more penalty points, they have to complete a driver improvement program. If they fail to complete this program, or if they accumulate additional points, it will result in suspension and postponement of their eligibility to obtain a probationary (if in the permit phase) or basic license (if in the probationary phase). In addition, violations may incur legal fees and/or higher insurance rates. This can cost thousands of dollars. GDL holders must obey all traffic rules and regulations. It can save money... and their lives.
If there is a proven need to drive during the prohibited time for work and/or religious purposes, exemptions do exist. For an exemption, a driver must carry a written certification on official letterhead, which is signed by an employer or religious figure.
All drivers who possess a probationary drivers license whose probationary period has not been extended beyond the standard 12 months, must visit an MVC agency to upgrade to a basic driver license. Drivers who fail to do so, will remain subject to the probationary Driver License restrictions.
Reinforce with your students that completing driver education class and passing the driver test is just part of the process of becoming a safe driver. Encourage them to get lots of supervised driving practice and to follow the rules of the road.