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Teen Drivers and GDL Laws, Effective in California?

December 31, 1969

Newly-licensed drivers in the state of California have a number of stages they have to complete before they can get an unrestricted license. They have to complete 50 hours of supervised driving, they have nighttime driving restrictions in which they can't drive between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. and they cannot have any drivers present who are under the age of 20-years-old.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), all of these laws are secondary enforcement, meaning that a young driver has to be witnessed breaking another road law before they can be pulled over for breaking any of the GDL laws.
Officials in the state of New Jersey aren't so lenient. As a matter of fact, they're taking it one step further and they're requiring these young drivers to adhere a red sticker to their license plate to help officers to pick them out easier. It's all a part of "Kyleigh's Law," according to The Washington Post.

Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers understand that many teens and parents aren't happy about this new law and are refusing to use the stickers, claiming that it makes them a target for predators. As a matter of fact, the law was recently upheld by Jersey's Supreme Court. Drivers are required to display this sticker during their permit phase and for a year after.

The law was named after 16-year-old Kyleigh D'Alessio. She was killed in a car accident with another teenage driver. There were far too many teens in the vehicle and served as a distraction to the driver, possibly causing the accident.

"When you have one extra friend in the car there's a 50 percent chance of that person getting into an accident," said D'Alessio's mother.

In 2010, there were close to 2,000 drivers between the ages of 15- and 20-years-old killed in car accidents in the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were another 187,000 of these young drivers injured in these same incidents during the year.

Just in the state of California, there were more than 110 young drivers killed in car accidents in 2010.

Teens might not be required to place a red sticker on their license plate here in the state of California, but we're asking teens to drive like it.

The habits that teens practice now are likely to be the habits they practice for the remainder of their driving career. Parents should step forward and talk with their teen drivers about the risks and the consequences of dangerous driving habits. You're more influential than you might think. Make sure they're aware of the state's GDL laws. You can even enact your very own household driving rules to make sure they're even safer. Lay out personal consequences for breaking any of these rules. Awareness and enforcement are key in fighting risks of car accidents.

If you or your teen driver has been injured in an accident, contact personal injury attorney Vincent Howard today for a free and confidential consultation. Call (800) 872-5925.

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