NJ Needs Rear Seat Belt & Stronger GDL Provisions
February 8, 2016 - 11:07am

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released their 13th annual Road Map of State Highway Safety Laws right on the heels of preliminary data indicating that U.S. traffic fatalities increased in 2015 after a series of steady annual declines. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatalities are estimated to have increased 8% in 2015.  Advocates note that more can and should be done legislatively to help drive down roadway deaths and is calling for states and DC to enact 319 laws for optimal safety.

NJ is cited for not having a rear seat belt primary enforcement law. While adult back seat passengers 18 and older riding with a fully licensed driver must buckle up, a police officer can't stop and cite the unrestrained occupant unless the driving is committing some other motor vehicle offense. Recognizing that 18-20 year olds account for the greatest number of teen driver fatal crashes and teen driver deaths in NJ, closing this loophole is critical. 

Advocates is also recommending that NJ strengthen its GDL law to include 30-50 hours of supervised driving practice in the permit phase, a provision we have been calling for since 2008 when the NJ Teen Driver Study Commission issued its comprehensive report to the Legislature. In addition, the Road Map calls for an earlier nighttime driving restriction for GDL holders -- 10 p.m. versus the 11 p.m. mandate in our law. The recommendation is evidence-based, research confirms that the increased crash risk for novice drivers after 9 p.m. Work is ongoing to close the seat belt loophole and add 50 hours (10 at night) of practice driving to our GDL law.



Do You Know a GDL Champion?
February 8, 2016 - 10:51am

To commemorate GDL’s impact on reducing teen driver crashes, injuries and fatalities, the New Jersey Teen Safe Driving Coalition invites you to nominate the 2016 Class of GDL Champions.

What’s a GDL Champion? A person or organization that has worked diligently to educate, enforce and/or advocate for the proven principles of GDL.  Champions come from all walks of life — they’re teachers, parents, teens, community activists, elected officials, police officers, businessmen and women, reporters, driving school instructors, safety professionals, and more.  Many people and organizations have contributed their time, talent and energy to help enact, implement and/or promote New Jersey’s GDL program.  Here’s your chance to say thanks to someone for being a driving force behind a program that is addressing the number one cause of teen death — car crashes.

To nominate a GDL Champion, complete and submit the online form below by April 6, 2016.
Questions? Contact Anne Vivino at 973-267-7600 or
[email protected].

All nominations will be vetted by a panel of teen safe driving experts.  The 2016 GDL Champions will be announced in May during Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, recognized at an awards luncheon and featured on


2015-2016 Champion Schools Program Underway
January 14, 2016 - 11:13am

The NJ Teen Safe Driving Coalition is proud to once again be a sponsor of the Champion Schools Program. Student-led teams from more than 60 high schools across the state are developing school and community-based teen safe driving campaigns with a goal of ensuring that teens recognize the risks associated with driving and take steps to be safe whether they're in the driver or passenger seat. Kudos to the Brain Injury Alliance of NJ for their continued focus on helping teens be the solution to a problem that is a leading cause of death and injury for 16-20 year olds. The Coalition looks forward to seeing what the teens come up with this year to educate and engage their classmates, teachers, administrators, parents, and others in their communities.

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National Safety Council

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