ASSEMBLY, No. 1607

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2016 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† SCOTT T. RUMANA

District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)

Assemblyman† DAVID C. RUSSO

District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)

Assemblyman† KEVIN J. ROONEY

District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes practice driving requirements for examination and special learnerís permit holders.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

††


An Act concerning certified practice driving and amending R.S.39:3-13 and P.L.1950, c.127.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† R.S.39:3-13 is amended to read as follows:

†††† 39:3-13. The chief administrator may, in the chief administrator's discretion, issue to a person over 17 years of age an examination permit, under the hand and seal of the chief administrator, allowing such person, for the purpose of fitting the person to become a licensed driver, to operate a designated class of motor vehicles other than passenger automobiles and motorcycles for a specified period of not more than 90 days, while in the company and under the supervision of a driver licensed to operate such designated class of motor vehicles.

†††† The chief administrator, in the chief administrator's discretion, may issue for a specified period of not less than one year a passenger automobile or motorcycle-only examination permit to a person over 17 years of age regardless of whether a person has completed a course of behind-the-wheel automobile driving education pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1950, c.127 (C.39:3-13.1).† An examination permit applicant who is under 18 years of age shall obtain the signature of a parent or guardian for submission to the commission on a form prescribed by the chief administrator.† The chief administrator shall postpone for six months the driving privileges of any person who submits a fraudulent signature for a parent or guardian.

†††† For six months immediately following the validation of an examination permit, and until the holder passes the road test, the holder who is less than 21 years of age shall operate the passenger automobile only when accompanied by, and under the supervision of, a New Jersey licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age and has been licensed to drive a passenger automobile for not less than three years. The holder of an examination permit who is at least 21 years of age shall operate the passenger automobile for the first three months under such supervision and until the holder passes the road test. The supervising driver of the passenger automobile shall sit in the front seat of the vehicle. Whenever operating a vehicle while in possession of an examination permit, the holder of the permit shall operate the passenger automobile with only one additional passenger in the vehicle excluding dependents of the permit holder, except that this passenger restriction shall not apply when the permit holder is at least 21 years of age or when the permit holder is accompanied by a parent or guardian. †Further, the holder of the passenger automobile permit who is less than 21 years of age shall not drive during the hours between 11:01 p.m. and 5 a.m.; provided, however, that this condition may be waived for an emergency which, in the judgment of local police, is of sufficient severity and magnitude to substantially endanger the health, safety, welfare, or property of a person, or for any bona fide employment or religion-related activity if the employer or appropriate religious authority provides written verification of such activity in a manner provided for by the chief administrator.† The holder of the examination permit shall not use any hand-held or hands-free interactive wireless communication device, except in an emergency, while operating a moving passenger automobile on a public road or highway.† "Use" shall include, but not be limited to, talking or listening on any hand-held or hands-free interactive wireless communication device or operating its keys, buttons, or other controls. The passenger automobile permit holder shall ensure that all occupants of the vehicle are secured in a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt or child restraint system.

†††† The holder of an examination permit subject to the provisions of section 1 of P.L.1977, c.23 (C.39:3-10b) shall not operate a motorcycle at any time from a half-hour after sunset to a half-hour before sunrise.† A motorcycle operated by the holder of an examination permit shall carry only the operator and shall not be operated on any toll road over which the New Jersey Turnpike Authority or the South Jersey Transportation Authority has jurisdiction or on any limited-access interstate highway.

†††† The holder of any examination permit shall not operate a motorcycle having a motor with a maximum piston displacement that is less than 50 cubic centimeters or a motor that is rated at no more than 1.5 brake horsepower with a maximum speed of no more than 35 miles per hour on a flat surface at anytime from a half-hour after sunset to a half-hour before sunrise and shall not operate the motorcycle with any other passenger.† The holder of any examination permit shall not operate such a motorcycle upon limited-access interstate highways or public roads or highways with a posted speed limit greater than 35 miles per hour.

†††† An applicant for an examination permit subject to the provisions of section 1 of P.L.1977, c.23 (C.39:3-10b), who is less than 18 years of age, shall be required to successfully complete a motorcycle safety education course established pursuant to the provisions of section 1 of P.L.1991, c.452 (C.27:5F-36) as a condition for obtaining a motorcycle license or endorsement.

†††† The chief administrator shall provide the holder of an examination permit with two removable, transferable, highly visible, reflective decals indicating that the driver of the vehicle may be the holder of an examination permit.† The decals shall be designed by the chief administrator, in consultation with the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety.† The chief administrator may charge a fee for the decals not to exceed the actual cost of producing and distributing the decals.† The decals shall be displayed in a manner prescribed by the chief administrator, in consultation with the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety, and shall be clearly visible to law enforcement officers.† The holder of an examination permit shall not operate a vehicle unless the decals are displayed.† The decal shall be removed once the driver's examination permit period has ended.

†††† When notified by a court of competent jurisdiction that an examination permit holder has been convicted of a violation which causes the permit holder to accumulate more than two motor vehicle points or has been convicted of a violation of R.S.39:4-50; section 2 of P.L.1981, c.512 (C.39:4-50.4a); P.L.1992, c.189 (C.39:4-50.14); R.S.39:4-129; N.J.S.2C:11-5; subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:12-1; or any other motor vehicle-related law the chief administrator deems significant and applicable pursuant to regulation, in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed, the chief administrator shall, without the exercise of discretion or a hearing, suspend the examination permit holder's examination permit for 90 days.† The chief administrator shall restore the permit following the term of the permit suspension if the permit holder satisfactorily completes a remedial training course of not less than four hours which may be given by the commission, a driving school licensed by the chief administrator pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1951, c.216 (C.39:12-2), or any Statewide safety organization approved by the chief administrator.† The course shall be subject to oversight by the commission according to its guidelines.† The permit holder shall also remit a course fee prior to the commencement of the course. The chief administrator also shall postpone without the exercise of discretion or a hearing the issuance of a basic license for 90 days if the chief administrator is notified by a court of competent jurisdiction that the examination permit holder, after completion of the remedial training course, has been convicted of any motor vehicle violation which results in the imposition of any motor vehicle points or has been convicted of a violation of R.S.39:4-50; section 2 of P.L.1981, c.512 (C.39:4-50.4a); P.L.1992, [c.182] c.189 (C.39:4-50.14); R.S.39:4-129; N.J.S.2C:11-5, subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:12-1 or any other motor vehicle-related law the chief administrator deems significant and applicable pursuant to regulation.† When the chief administrator is notified by a court of competent jurisdiction that an examination permit holder has been convicted of any alcohol or drug-related offense unrelated to the operation of a motor vehicle and is not otherwise subject to any other suspension penalty therefor, the chief administrator shall, without the exercise of discretion or a hearing, suspend the examination permit for six months.

†††† An examination permit for a motorcycle or a commercial motor vehicle issued to a handicapped person, as determined by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission after consultation with the Department of Education, shall be valid for nine months or until the completion of the road test portion of his license examination, whichever period is shorter.

†††† Each permit shall be sufficient license for the person to operate such designated class of motor vehicles in this State during the period specified, while in the company of and under the control of a driver licensed by this State to operate such designated class of motor vehicles, or, in the case of a commercial driver license permit, while in the company of and under the control of a holder of a valid commercial driver license for the appropriate license class and with the appropriate endorsements issued by this or any other state. Such person, as well as the licensed driver, except for a motor vehicle examiner administering a driving skills test, shall be held accountable for all violations of this subtitle committed by such person while in the presence of the licensed driver.† In addition to requiring an applicant for an examination permit to submit satisfactory proof of identity and age, the chief administrator also shall require the applicant to provide, as a condition for obtaining the permit, satisfactory proof that the applicant's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law.† If the chief administrator has reasonable cause to suspect that any document presented by an applicant as proof of identity, age, or legal residency is altered, false, or otherwise invalid, the chief administrator shall refuse to grant the permit until such time as the document may be verified by the issuing agency to the chief administrator's satisfaction.

†††† Prior to obtaining a probationary license, the holder of an examination permit who obtains such permit before reaching 21 years of age shall satisfactorily complete a six-hour course of behind-the-wheel automobile driving education pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1950, c.127 (C.39:3-13.1) and shall complete a minimum of 50 hours of practice driving, 10 hours of which shall be completed during hours of darkness, as certified by the permit holderís parent or guardian, or by the person who accompanied and supervised the permit holder during the practice driving.† In lieu of the six-hour behind-the-wheel automobile driving education course and a minimum of 50 hours of certified practice driving, the permit holder may complete a minimum of 100 hours of practice driving, 20 hours of which shall be completed during hours of darkness, as certified by the permit holderís parent or guardian, or by the person who accompanied and supervised the permit holder during the practice driving.† The chief administrator shall suspend for six months the driving privileges of any examination permit holder who submits a fraudulent certification of a parent, guardian, or supervising driver.

†††† The holder of an examination permit shall be required to take a road test in order to obtain a probationary license. No road test for any person who has been issued an examination permit to operate a passenger vehicle shall be given unless the person has met the requirements of this section.† No road test for a probationary license shall be given unless the applicant has first secured an examination permit and no such road test shall be scheduled for an applicant who has secured an examination permit for a passenger vehicle or a motorcycle for which an endorsement is not required until at least six months for an applicant under 21 years of age or three months for an applicant 21 years of age or older [shall have] has elapsed following the validation of the examination permit for practice driving or, in the case of an examination permit for other vehicles, until 20 days have elapsed. In the case of an omnibus endorsement or school bus, no road test shall be scheduled until at least 10 days shall have elapsed. Every applicant for an examination permit to qualify for an omnibus endorsement or an articulated vehicle endorsement shall be a holder of a valid basic driver's license.

†††† The required fees for special learner's permits and examination permits shall be as follows:

Basic driver's license...............................................up to $10

Motorcycle license or endorsement..................................$† 5

Omnibus or school bus endorsement................................$25

†††† The chief administrator shall waive the payment of fees for issuance of examination permits for omnibus endorsements whenever the applicant establishes to the chief administrator's satisfaction that said applicant will use the omnibus endorsement exclusively for operating omnibuses owned by a nonprofit organization duly incorporated under Title 15 or 16 of the Revised Statutes or Title 15A of the New Jersey Statutes.

†††† The specified period for which a permit is issued may be extended for not more than an additional 60 days, without payment of an added fee, upon application made by the holder thereof, where the holder has applied to take the examination for a driver's license prior to the expiration of the original period for which the permit was issued and the chief administrator was unable to schedule an examination during said period.

†††† As a condition for the issuance of an examination permit under this section, the chief administrator shall secure a digitized picture of the applicant.† The picture shall be stored in a manner prescribed by the chief administrator and may be displayed on the examination permit.

†††† The chief administrator may require that whenever a person to whom an examination permit has been issued has reconstructive or cosmetic surgery which significantly alters the person's facial features, the person shall notify the chief administrator who may require the picture of the person to be updated.

†††† Specific use of the examination permit and any information stored or encoded, electronically or otherwise, in relation thereto shall be in accordance with P.L.1997, c.188 (C.39:2-3.3 et seq.) and the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994, Pub.L.103-322.† Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, the digitized picture or any access thereto or any use thereof shall not be sold, leased, or exchanged for value.

(cf: P.L.2011, c.13, s.3)

 

†††† 2.††† Section 4 of P.L.1950, c.127 (C.39:3-13.4) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 4.††† a.† The holder of a special learner's permit shall be entitled to a probationary driver's license (1) upon attaining the age of 17 years, (2) upon the satisfactory completion of an approved behind-the-wheel driver training course as indicated upon the face of the special permit over the signature of the principal of the school or the person operating the driving school in which the course was conducted, (3) upon the completion of six months' driving experience with a validated special learner's permit in compliance with the provisions of section 6 of P.L.1977, c.25 (C.39:3-13.2a), [and] (4) upon passing the road test pursuant to R.S.39:3-10, and (5) upon completing a minimum of 50 hours of practice driving, 10 hours of which shall be completed during hours of darkness, as certified by the permit holderís parent or guardian, or by the person who accompanied and supervised the permit holder during the practice driving.† The chief administrator shall suspend for six months the driving privileges of any special learnerís permit holder who submits a fraudulent certification of a parent, guardian, or supervising driver.

†††† b.††† The holder of a probationary license shall be permitted to operate the passenger automobile with only one additional passenger in the vehicle besides any dependent of the probationary license holder, except that this passenger restriction shall not apply when the holder of the probationary license is at least 21 years of age or the probationary license holder is accompanied by a parent or guardian.† Further, the holder of the probationary license who is under 21 years of age shall not drive during the hours between 11:01 p.m. and 5 a.m.; provided however, that this condition may be waived for an emergency which, in the judgment of local police, is of sufficient severity and magnitude to substantially endanger the health, safety, welfare, or property of a person or for any bona fide employment or religion-related activity if the employer or appropriate religious authority provides written verification of such activity in a manner provided for by the chief administrator.

†††† c.†††† The holder of the probationary license shall not use any hand-held or hands-free interactive wireless communication device, except in an emergency, while operating a moving passenger automobile on a public road or highway.† "Use" shall include, but not be limited to, talking or listening on any hand-held or hands-free interactive wireless communication device or operating its keys, buttons, or other controls. In addition, the holder of the probationary license shall ensure that all occupants of the vehicle are secured in a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt or child restraint system.

†††† d.††† In addition to any other penalties provided under law, the holder of a probationary license who accumulates more than two motor vehicle points or is convicted of a violation of R.S.39:4-50; section 2 of P.L.1981, c.512 (C.39:4-50.4a); P.L.1992, c.189 (C.39:4-50.14); R.S.39:4-129; N.J.S.2C:11-5; subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:12-1; or any other motor vehicle law the chief administrator deems to be significant and applicable pursuant to regulation shall, for the first violation, be required to satisfactorily complete a remedial training course of not less than four hours which may be given by the commission, a driving school licensed by the chief administrator pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1951, c.216 (C.39:12-2), or any Statewide safety organization approved by the chief administrator.† The course shall be administered pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the chief administrator and subject to oversight by the commission.† The authority of the chief administrator to suspend, revoke, or deny issuance of an initial or renewal license to operate a driving school or an instructor's license, and to assess fines, pursuant to P.L.1951, c.216 (C.39:12-1 et seq.) shall apply to any violations related to the administration of a remedial training course.† The license holder shall also remit a course fee prior to the commencement of the course.

†††† e.†††† When notified by a court of competent jurisdiction that a probationary license holder has been convicted of a second or subsequent violation, in addition to any other penalties provided under law, the chief administrator shall, without the exercise of discretion or a hearing, suspend the probationary license for three months, and shall postpone eligibility for a basic license for an equivalent period.† In addition, when the chief administrator is notified by a court of competent jurisdiction that a probationary license holder has been convicted of any alcohol or drug-related offense unrelated to the operation of a motor vehicle, and he is not otherwise subject to any other suspension penalty therefor, the chief administrator shall, without the exercise of discretion or a hearing, suspend the probationary license for six months.

†††† f.†††† The chief administrator shall provide the holder of a probationary license with two removable, transferable, highly visible, reflective decals indicating that the driver of the vehicle may be the holder of a probationary license.† The decals shall be designed by the chief administrator, in consultation with the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety.† The chief administrator may charge a fee for the decals not to exceed the actual cost of producing and distributing the decals.† The decals shall be displayed in a manner prescribed by the chief administrator, in consultation with the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety, and shall be clearly visible to law enforcement officers.† The holder of a probationary license shall not operate a vehicle unless the decals are displayed.† The decal shall be removed once the driver's probationary license period has ended.

†††† g.††† A probationary license may be sent by mail and shall be clearly identifiable and distinguishable in appearance from a basic license by any name, mark, color, or device deemed appropriate by the chief administrator.

(cf: P.L.2009, c.38, s.9)

 

†††† 3.††† This act shall take effect on the first day of the 13th month after enactment, but the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission may take such anticipatory action necessary to implement the provisions of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill changes the Stateís graduated driver licensing law by requiring holders of examination and special learnerís permits who are under the age of 21 to complete a minimum number of hours of certified practice driving.†

†††† In addition to the six hour behind-the-wheel automobile driving education requirement currently required, special learnerís permit holders would be required to complete at least 50 hours of practice driving, including 10 hours completed during hours of darkness.† Examination permit holders between the ages of 17 to 20 could either:† (1) similarly complete an approved six-hour behind-the-wheel course and 50 hours of certified practice driving, including 10 hours completed during hours of darkness; or (2) complete 100 hours of certified practice driving, including 20 hours completed during hours of darkness.† The parent, guardian, or supervising driver of the permit holder is required to certify that practice driving hours were completed.† The Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission would suspend the driving privileges of any permit holder who submits a fraudulent certification.