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Proposed NJ Legislation Would Expand Teen Driving Restrictions

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By Robin Rieger

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — Getting a drivers license is something most teenagers say they can’t wait to do. For teens in New Jersey, most can start learning at age 16 with six hours of paid certified instruction behind the wheel.

But, proposed legislation, if passed, could make teens wait a little longer to get their probationary license, all in the name of safety.

“As good as they think they are at 17, they’re not, and they need time to grow into it and the distractions”, says Tom Cornely, a retired New Jersey state trooper who owns a driving school.

Cornely sees some merit in the bill, that would require 16-year-olds with a learners permit to log and have their parent or guardian certify an additional 50 hours of driving practice, including ten hours at night.

17-year-olds who get an examination permit would have to log and certify 100 hours of driving, including 20 at night if they didn’t want to complete the learners permit requirements.

Drivers with permits would have to wait a year instead of six months to get their probationary license

“I think 6 hours is enough,” says 18-year-old Lindsay who already has her license.

16-year-old Sunny Rota isn’t opposed to the extra requirements

“It would be better practice. I would feel more comfortable”, Rota says.

A teen applying for a permit would have to take an orientation program with a parent or guardian. The bill aims to educate parents and students about all of the rules regarding the graduated drivers license. With additional practice lawmakers sponsoring the legislation hope it cuts down on accidents.

The legislation was supposed to be voted on by the Assembly Monday, but may undergo some changes.

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