ASSEMBLY, No. 3406

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MARCH 3, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman† JOHN S. WISNIEWSKI

District 19 (Middlesex)

Assemblywoman† PAMELA R. LAMPITT

District 6 (Burlington and Camden)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes teen driver orientation program.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

 


An Act establishing the teen driver orientation program and amending R.S.39:3-13, P.L.1950, c.127, and P.L.1998, c.108.

 

†††† 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] that 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] the 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.

†††† An examination permit shall not be issued to an applicant who is less than 21 years of age unless the applicant has completed a teen driver orientation program approved by the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety in consultation with the commission.  An examination permit shall not be issued to an applicant who is less than 18 years of age unless at least one of the applicantís parents or guardians has completed a teen driver orientation program approved by the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety in consultation with the commission.† The program may be completed by the applicantís parent or guardian through an on-line provider approved by the chief administrator.† If a parent or guardian is unable to complete the teen driver orientation program, a relative or supervising adult, who is at least 21 years of age and has been licensed to drive a passenger automobile or motorcycle for not less than three years, shall be deemed to meet the requirement that a parent or guardian complete the program.† The teen driver orientation program shall be made available to the parent or guardian of an applicant for an examination permit who is at least 18 years of age, but less than 21 years of age. †Prior to the issuance of an examination permit, the applicant shall submit for review to the commission a certificate issued by an approved teen driver orientation program indicating that the applicant, and the applicantís parent or guardian, if required, have completed an approved teen driver orientation program.  The chief administrator shall postpone or suspend for six months the driving privileges of any examination permit applicant who submits a fraudulent certificate of completion.

†††† 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] this 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.] P.M. and 5 [a.m.] 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] the 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); section 1 of 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); section 1 of 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] the license examination, whichever period is shorter.

†††† Each permit shall be sufficient license for the person to operate [such] the 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] the 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] The 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] the 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] is verified by the issuing agency to the chief administrator's satisfaction.

†††† 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 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] the 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] the 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 3 of P.L.1950, c.127 (C.39:3-13.3) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 3.††† No special learnerís permit shall be issued unless the person applying therefor shall present a written application for the same, bearing a certification by the principal of the school indicating that the person is enrolled in an approved behind-the-wheel driving education course in the principalís school [of which he is principal] or by the person operating a duly licensed drivers' school indicating that the person has contracted to take a course of behind-the-wheel automobile driving instruction offered by the school and shall pay a sum of up to $10 as determined by the [director] chief administrator to an agent of the [Division of Motor Vehicles] commission, which sum shall be turned over by the agent to the [director] chief administrator, and by [him] the chief administrator remitted with the other funds collected [in his division] by the commission to the State Treasurer, in accordance with law.† A special learner's permit to operate a passenger automobile shall not be issued to any person younger than 18 years of age without the signature of a parent or guardian.† The signature shall be submitted to the [division] commission on a form prescribed by the [director] chief administrator. The [director] chief administrator shall postpone for six months the driving privileges of any [person] special learnerís permit applicant who submits a fraudulent signature for a parent or guardian.

†††† A special learnerís permit shall not be issued to an applicant who is less than 18 years of age unless the applicant has completed a teen driver orientation program approved by the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety in consultation with the commission. A special learnerís permit shall not be issued to an applicant who is less than 18 years of age unless at least one of the applicantís parents or guardians has completed a teen driver orientation program, approved by the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety in consultation with the commission.† The program may be completed by the applicantís parent or guardian through an on-line provider approved by the chief administrator.† If a parent or guardian is unable to complete the teen driver orientation program, a relative or supervising adult, who is at least 21 years of age and has been licensed to drive a passenger automobile or motorcycle for not less than three years shall be deemed to meet the requirement that a parent or guardian complete the program.† Prior to the issuance of a special learnerís permit, the applicant shall submit for review to the commission a certificate issued by an approved teen driver orientation program indicating that the applicant, and the applicantís parent or guardian, if required, have completed an approved teen driver orientation program. The chief administrator shall postpone or suspend for six months the driving privileges of any special learnerís permit applicant who submits a fraudulent certificate of completion.

(cf: P.L.1998, c.108, s.6)

 

†††† 3.††† Section 8 of P.L.1998, c.108 (C.27:5F-41) is amended to read as follows:

†††† 8. a. The Director of the [Office] Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety, after consultation with the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission in, but not of, the Department of Transportation, shall develop curriculum guidelines for use by teachers of approved classroom driver education courses.† The course of instruction for approved courses shall be no less than 30 hours in length and be designed to develop and instill the knowledge and attitudes necessary for the safe operation and driving of motor vehicles.† Defensive driving, highway courtesy, dangers of driving a vehicle in an aggressive manner, which shall include, but not be limited to, unexpectedly altering the speed of a vehicle, making improper or erratic traffic lane changes, disregarding traffic control devices, failing to yield the right of way, and following another vehicle too closely, accident avoidance, understanding and respect for the State's motor vehicle laws, insurance fraud, and State requirements for and benefits of maintaining automobile insurance shall be emphasized. The incorporation of these curriculum guidelines in these classroom courses and the use of related instructional materials shall be a requirement for approval of the course by the chief administrator.

†††† b.††† The Director of the [Office] Division of Highway Traffic Safety, in consultation with the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, shall produce an informational brochure for parents and guardians of beginning drivers under the age of 18 years.† The [commission shall ensure that the parents or guardians of a permit holder receive these] brochures [at the time a permit is issued to a beginning driver] shall be distributed at approved teen driver orientation programs, as required by R.S.39:3-13 and section 3 of P.L.1950, c.127 (C.39:3-13.3), whichever is applicable, and made available through on-line providers of teen orientation programs approved by the chief administrator. The brochures shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

†††† (1)†† Setting an example for the beginning driver;

†††† (2)†† Accident and fatality statistics about beginning drivers;

†††† (3)†† Causes of accidents among beginning drivers;

†††† (4)†† The need to supervise vehicle operation by a beginning driver;

†††† (5)†† Methods to coach a beginning driver on how to reduce accidents;

†††† (6)†† A description of the graduated driver's license program;

†††† (7)†† Benefits of classroom and behind-the-wheel driver education under the direction of State certified or licensed driving instructors, as the case may be; and

†††† (8)†† The dangers of driving a vehicle in an aggressive manner, which shall include, but not be limited to, unexpectedly altering the speed of a vehicle, making improper or erratic traffic lane changes, disregarding traffic control devices, failing to yield the right of way, and following another vehicle too closely.

(cf: P.L.2015, c.36, s.2)

 

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

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill establishes the teen driver orientation program and requires certain examination permit and special learnerís permit applicants, and their parents or guardians, to complete the program.

†††† Under the bill, an applicant for a special learnerís permit who is under 18 years of age and an applicant for an examination permit who is under 21 years of age cannot obtain the permit unless the applicant has first completed a teen driver orientation program (program) approved by the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety, in consultation with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC).† An applicant for an examination permit and an applicant for a special learnerís permit who is under 18 years of age cannot obtain the permit unless the applicantís parent or guardian has first completed the program.† The program may be completed by the applicantís parent or guardian through an on-line provider approved by the Chief Administrator of the MVC.† In the event that a parent or guardian is unable to complete the program, the bill permits a relative or supervising adult who is at least 21 years of age and who has been licensed to drive a passenger automobile or motorcycle for at least three years to complete the program.

†††† Under the bill, the program is also available to, but not required of, the parent or guardian of an examination permit applicant who is at least 18 years of age but less than 21 years of age.† The bill requires all permit applicants to submit to the MVC a certificate issued by an approved teen driver orientation program indicating that the applicant and the applicantís parent or guardian, if required, completed the teen driver orientation program.† The chief administrator is to suspend or postpone the driving privileges of any applicant who submits a fraudulent certificate of completion.

†††† The bill also requires the distribution of informational brochures to the parents and guardians of beginning drivers under 18 years of age at approved teen driver orientation programs.† Under current law, these brochures are provided at the time a permit is issued to a beginning driver.