Teen Deaths On The Decline After GDL Rules [AUDIO]
This year marks 12 years since the Graduated Driver's License Law was put into effect in the Garden State, and recent figures show the laws and guidelines are working.
Wet road conditions, increased traffic patterns, driver inattention are all recipes for tragedy on our roadways.
Since being enacted in 2001, the number of fatal accidents involving teens behind the wheel is down significantly.
State Police Lieutenant Stephen Jones says it all begins with educating our kids before they set foot behind the wheel. Also, things like seat belts and not texting while driving are crucial topics.
"It is amazing how many driver distractions there are out there," Jones explains. "These often always lead to problems. We think by following those GDL provisions, it has made things more safe among the young drivers."
Jones is quick to warn, however, that "no matter how many laws we create or how much we patrol, there is still a risk of accidents and trouble at all times. It will not prevent accidents. Every individual decision someone makes can have an everlasting impact and effect."
Teens are at the highest risk of being involved in a car crash during the first two years of driving. That's why officials are urging parents to talk to their kids about safety in the car even before they are old enough to take on the responsibility.
On Easter Sunday, a collision claimed the lives of two Jackson teenagers on Route 547 near the commercial gate of the Joint Base in Manchester. Police say it appears 18-year-old Brandon Sims and a 17-year-old male juvenile were unrestrained when the Eclipse they were traveling in crossed into the path of a Ford pickup truck heading north bound.
The driver of the truck was treated and released from Kimball Medical Center in Lakewood with non-life threatening injuries. A full investigation into the cause is underway.
For more information on the GDL program and safe driving tips, visit the state website.