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Legislator renews fight against red decals for teen drivers

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT : N.J. State Assemblyman Robert Schroeder is renewing his call to repeal the requirement that new drivers carry a red sticker on their license plates, insisting that it exposes young innocents to sexual predators.

Assemblyman Robert Schroeder

“A ‘wait and see’ approach is not the thorough response needed right now,” Schroeder said, after an Assembly panel removed a scheduled discussion of the issue from its agenda last week.

“The legitimate and growing public fear that the red-sticker requirement is targeting our teens for sexual predators has cut across political affiliation,” the freshman Assemblyman from Washington Township wrote to Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski, chairman of the Assembly Transportation, Public Works & Independent Authorities Committee.

“Those of us with children know that it’s parenthood before partisanship,” Schroeder added.

“Until we find a better way to enforce the [graduated driver’s license] requirements without unintentionally placing young drivers at risk, the license plate identifiers must be rescinded,” he said.

Schroeder — the father of two teenagers himself —  has gotten bi-partisan support from key legislators, including Deputy Assembly Majority Leader Joan Voss of Fort Lee (See: Lawmakers try to put the brakes on teen decals ). The trick now is getting the issue to the floor.

“Kyleigh’s Law,” which took effect earlier this month, was enacted to avoid a tragedy like the one that happened to Kyleigh D’Alessio,” a 16-year-old passenger who was killed in a car crash, along with the teenaged driver, Dec. 20, 2006. However, several new legislators who took office after their predecessors approved the measure, think it deserves a much closer look.

“Whether we study the issue for a year, six months or even one month, it is clear that there is little support among those we represent for a study without repealing the stickers because it will do nothing to address the immediate fears and concerns people have for the safety of our children,” Schroeder wrote.

“These stickers are discriminatory and dangerous, and should be eliminated immediately.”

The law requires special license-plate decals for all drivers under 21 who have probationary licenses. Violators can be fined $100.

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