Thomas Carroll Blauvelt

Keeping teen drivers safe – and on the right side of the law

It’s a milestone for teens – and the start of many sleepless nights for parents. Your son or daughter has just gotten their driver’s license. Raising a safe, responsible driver is one of your highest priorities. Traffic violations can not only put your teen’s life at risk; they can also rack up points against your son or daughter’s driving record.

Restrictions for probationary drivers

Young drivers face the highest risk of traffic accidents. Recognizing this fact, New Jersey has implemented a graduated driver’s license program. Drivers must first hold learner’s and examination permits – and be at least 17 years old – before getting a probationary license. While on this restricted license, probationary drivers can’t:

  • Be out on the road between the hours of 11:00 pm and 5:00 am (unless they have a special exception)
  • Have too many passengers in the vehicle
  • Use a cellphone, iPod or other mobile devices while driving (including hands-free devices)

They must always wear seatbelts – and ensure that their passengers do, too.

Traffic offenses can have a big impact

What’s more, when probationary drivers get ticketed for moving traffic violations, they can’t plea bargain to get out of points against their driving record.

This means they can face serious consequences for point-bearing offenses such as:

  • Speeding
  • Improperly passing a school bus
  • Running a red light
  • Improper passing
  • Failing to signal
  • Careless driving

With enough points on their record in a certain time frame, young drivers could end up losing their licenses completely.

It’s up to parents, too

Parents play a big role in keeping their teens safe on the road. Always reiterate the importance of following the rules, and model safe driving yourself.

By taking a proactive role in your teen driver’s life, you can help spare them the difficulty of learning lessons the hard way.

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