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'Kyleigh's Law' Requiring Decals to Identify Teen Drivers Upheld by N.J. Supreme Court

In New Jersey, a law requiring teenage drivers to display a red decal on their vehicle's license plates withstood a challenge in the state Supreme Court last week, the New Jersey Law Journal reports. The plaintiffs behind the unsuccessful challenge to this statute known as "Kyleigh’s Law," however, are now vowing to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the law places teenagers at risk and improperly discloses their personal information.

Kyleigh's Law is named after Kyleigh D'Alessio, a New Jersey teenager who was killed in a car crash. The Asbury Park Press reports that the law's proponents view the decals as a way to prevent future crashes involving teen drivers because they "help police easily identify a GDL [Graduated Driver's License] driver who must adhere to curfews and restrictions about how many other teenagers can be in the vehicle as passengers." 

Critics of the law argued to the Supreme Court of New Jersey that it violated the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act because it released personal information about the driver, and also constituted an unreasonable search and seizure. The state Supreme Court rejected both of these arguments, finding that the information at issue was not "highly restrictive personal information" as defined in the FDPPA, and that "young drivers have no reasonable expectation of privacy in their age group. ... Because the decal is affixed to the exterior of the car, in plain view, an officer's review of the decal does not constitute a search."

The APP reports that another concern about the law is that teen drivers may be "harassed by predators" who notice the decal. According to New Jersey police, however, this fear is unsubstantiated, as such harassment is "not happening." Still, the APP reports, some parents have refused to place the stickers on cars driven by their teenage daughters for that reason.

Posted by Bruce Carton on August 13, 2012 at 04:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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