Last updated: February 19. 2013 4:53PM - 222 Views

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Motor vehicle crashes are the number 1 cause of death for teens, and teen drivers 16 to 19 are involved in fatal crashes at four times the rate of adult drivers, according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

So if someone found a simple method to reduce tragic teen car crashes, wouldn’t it make sense every state should adopt it?


A study suggests a recent New Jersey requirement that teen drivers with probationary licenses (permits) must display reflective front and back license decals helped reduce teen accidents in its first year.


The law, passed in 2010, requires the decals for drivers 16-20 holding a permit or intermediate license. The goal was to increase police enforcement of restrictions on those licenses and curb teen crashes.

A study by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia suggests it worked quite well: Citations increased 14 percent, crashes dropped 9 percent.

It makes sense, at least on first blush. If it’s easier for cops to catch teens who violate terms of probationary licenses, teens have a greater incentive to avoid such violations.

 It’s only one year of data, but seriously, maybe Pennsylvania legislators could put their desire for a voter ID law on a backburner and implement something like this.

Which is more compelling, avoiding in-person voter fraud when even proponents admit in court there is no evidence it occurs? Or reducing the number of teens in car accidents (27,149 in 2010, according to PennDot)?



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