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Views of New Jersey teenagers about their state’s policies for beginning drivers

Williams, Allan F.; McCartt, Anne T.
Journal of Safety Research
February 2014

Background: Three New Jersey licensing policies are unique in the United States. They are: (a) minimum licensing age of 17; (b) applying full graduated driver licensing (GDL) rules to beginners younger than 21; and (c) requiring license status decals on vehicle plates of drivers in GDL.
Methods: New Jersey 17–19 year-olds were surveyed by telephone and online.
Results: Eighty-four percent approved licensing at 17; 77% approved applying GDL to older novices; 23% approved the decal policy. Probationary licensees ages 18–19 were more likely than 17 year-olds to have multiple nighttime restriction violations in the past month. There were no age group differences in passenger restriction violations.
Discussion: All three policies have been considered in other states. Views of teenagers directly affected by the policies can be taken into account in considering their implementation.
Practical applications: Views of licensing policies by affected teenagers indicate potential support or obstacles to their adoption in other states.