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Under current law, New Jersey is one of only three states without any requirement for novice drivers to complete behind-the-wheel driver training with an adult licensed driver during the examination permit phase.

A coalition of driver advocates, safety groups and insurance companies - including Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety - have been pressuring the legislature to "close the dangerous safety gap" for our teen drivers.

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for teens in the United States. In 2020, there were 28,000 accidents involving drivers under the age of 21. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimates that adding the 50-hour requirement could reduce that number by 13%.

Compelling research shows that comprehensive GDL laws, which include a supervised driving requirement, reduce teen crashes and save lives. According to a national study conducted by the IIHS, a supervised driving requirement of 40 hours was associated with a 10 percent lower rate of insurance collision claims among 16 and 17 year-old drivers. The IIHS GDL Crash Reduction Calculator estimates that if New Jersey adds a provision for 50 hours of supervised driving to its current GDL law, fatal crashes would be reduced by three percent and collision claims by 13 percent.

Now, lawmakers are aiming to make this change happen.

The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee is set this Thursday to consider Senate Bill No. 2789.

On the same day, the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee is set to consider Assembly Bill No.2032

The Senate bill would require holders of examination permits and special learner’s permits under the age of 21 to complete at least 50 hours of practice driving, at least 10 of which are to be completed during hours of darkness.

The parent, guardian, or the supervising driver of a permit holder is to certify that these hours of practice driving were completed.

The Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission is to suspend the driving privileges of any permit holder who submits a fraudulent certification.

The bill would also require a sample practice driving log to be included in informational brochures distributed to parents and guardians of beginning drivers under the age of 18.

S-2789 is sponsored by Senators Nilsa I. Cruz-perez and Gordon M. Johnson.

The bill was first introduced in the Senate on June 6, 2022. On February 9, 2023, it cleared the Senate Transportation Committee.

The assembly bill is similar. However, it also provides that the six-hour, behind-the-wheel automobile driving education course required pursuant to the State’s graduated driver licensing law is to be completed through one-on-one instruction.  However, the bill provides that a public, parochial, or private school or a licensed drivers’ school may permit additional students in the course or the parents of the students to be present in the rear seat of the vehicle, provided that the time a student spends in the rear seat of the vehicle is not to be considered behind-the-wheel automobile instruction for the purposes of the course.

The bill requires the MVC, in consultation with the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, the State Department of Education, and licensed driving schools in this State, to adopt standard, up-to-date guidelines to be implemented by public, private, and parochial schools and licensed drivers’ schools offering behind-the-wheel automobile driving education.

The bill further increases, from six months to 12 months, the amount of time that a permit holder is required to hold a permit before becoming eligible for a probationary license.

A-2032 is sponsored by  Assembly members Daniel R. Benson, Yvonne Lopez, and Thomas P. Giblin.

The bills will likely be amended and merged in the coming weeks before a final version heads to the full Senate and Assembly.

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001 said...

If it really does reduce accidents then I’m all for it, but just don’t continue charging exorbitant insurance rates as the payments usually fall into the parents lap..

Simcha said...


The supervised hours can be done with a parent, it does not need to be done with a paid instructor

001 said...

I meant auto insurance premiums.