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It’s your first time driving and your parent is in the passenger seat. You put on your seatbelt, start the car, and slowly reach for drive. Now, the pressures on as the car starts to move forward. You can feel your parents’ eyes burning into the side of your face, and criticizing every mistake. Not to add to it, but on your license plate is a reflective sticker, letting the whole world know that you are a teen driver. You already have strict laws to follow, and now you’re standing out even more. And don’t forget, home by 10, not a minute late, because remember, the cops will know your out past curfew and will give you a ticket. Then, guess what? Congratulations, your license is now history!
A new law was passed in New Jersey that requires all drivers younger than 21 to have a reflective decal on their license plate. This was enforced in an effort to reduce the number of teen deaths. Is this really fair? Teens are already targeted by Police, by pointing out teen drivers, were only putting more pressure on them. Many believe this will make them drive more careful and lower the number of teen deaths. Will it really, though? While under pressure, you get more nervous and that may cause you to drive worse.
The US Department of Transportation said that about 5,000 teens are killed in car accidents each year. Some of them could have been prevented, however some couldn’t have. Four teens were killed in Roseville, Michigan when a drunk driver hit them while they were stopped at a stoplight. In this case, a reflective sticker wouldn’t have saved the teens lives and the crash was not their fault. If a teen is doing everything their supposed to, but a deer runs in front of them and they are killed, we are not going to prevent that with a sticker.
In an interview with a new driver, Jacquelyn W. explained that her license already has strict rules. “I’m already under enough pressure because Police pick on teen drivers and adding a decal would only make them pick on us even more.” Yes, many teens would drive more carefully and not speed and always be home on time. And maybe it would prevent some deaths, but in an effort to reduce the deaths, we may be adding to them by putting more pressure on teens, which could cause many teens to run off the road or drive faster. The New Jersey law was enforced to prevent deaths; however, some are just not going to be preventable.
How about we point out elderly people, the handicap, or the ones with a criminal background? Why don’t we stereotype people by their license plate? My point is, it just won’t work. Were not going to know that someone is going to fall asleep at the wheel by a decal on their license plate, were sure not going to know if a teen will swerve to miss a deer and roll their car.

Here’s an idea, lets cut teens a little slack by not putting a decal on their license plate. It’s not going to prevent most deaths because some we just can’t prevent.




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This article has 10 comments. Post your own!

esquires said...
Sept. 11, 2012 at 8:28 am:
Teenage drivers do already have enough pressure you make a valid point good article.
 
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Strawberry123 said...
Jan. 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm:
I believe I do have my facts straight, that has nothing to do with a decal though. Teens don't always follow the laws, its a fact, but were not doing anything by putting a decal on their license plate. Thanks for your input though.
 
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Jimmy Kid said...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 10:53 am:
"Here’s an idea, lets cut teens a little slack by not putting a decal on their license plate. It’s not going to prevent most deaths because some we just can’t prevent." Lets tell people they don't have to wear helmets on bicycles or motorcycles because some accidents cant be prevented. True but you and I will be the one's to foot the bill with state services for a head injury because we should "cut some slack" sorry I don't buy it
 
Strawberry123 replied...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 7:20 pm :
i understand where your coming from, but thats a little different from a decal
 
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NJ teen driver said...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 9:23 am:
"Yes, many teens would drive more carefully and not speed and always be home on time. " Thats kinda the point of the law....you seem to be missing the point of this decal
 
Strawberry123 replied...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm :
no offense, but im not missing the point, i think i adress it clearly. of course, thats my opinion. but again, this is my opinion, you have your own.
 
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The Dude said...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 8:26 am:
I understand what you're saying however, the rules that apply to new driver with decals WOULD have prevented some of those deaths. For example if the four kids in the car were following the correct laws 2 of them would still be alive becuase you're only allowed one non family member as a passenger and the curfew you state is actually midnight not 10 and there are exceptions to the rule for work or religious reasons. Please visit www.njteendriving .com before you write an article and... (more »)
 
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susie que said...
Jan. 13, 2010 at 11:41 am:
Wonderfully written and very insightful. Great work.
 
Strawberry123 replied...
Jun. 25, 2010 at 5:08 pm :
Thanks so much! 
 
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susie que said...
Jan. 13, 2010 at 11:40 am:
Wonderfully written and very insightful. Great work!
 
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