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Kyleigh's Law Decals Not a Violation, Court Rules

Unanimous decision made to have red stickers placed on license plates for vehicles operated by new drivers.

The New Jersey Supreme Court said affixing red stickers to license plates on vehicles being operated by young drivers is not a violation of their privacy, according to a report on nj.com.

The court ruled 6-0 Monday, saying the decals don't make young drivers more of a target or more vulnerable to predators.

To read the full report, click here.

This isn't the first time the law has been under attack, however.

Kyleigh's Law was created in 2009, named for Kyleigh D'Alessio, a Washington Township teen who died in a car crash in 2006, along with another passenger, Tanner Birch.

Denobin August 07, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Nasty response? I merely agreed to disagree. Disdain for your comment? Yes. Disdain for your ability to have an opinion? Absolutely not. Last I knew, this is an open forum. I made a suggestion that you have no obligation to follow. You gave your opinion, I gave mine. My comments are as valid as yours despite your disdain for them. Sorry. Angry? Maybe. Frustrated and passionate about this subject? Definitely. You are certainly spending a lot of time responding to comments about something that you claim to be "ambivalent" about. Why does my objection to this law rub you the wrong way? Maybe not so ambivalent, are we? Bottom line is this: If this law increase the chance even one iota that my kids could be victimized due to being labeled, then it is wrong. Even you admit that there could be no counter-benefit. No ambivalence there. That's my personal opinion.
stacie bohr August 07, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I feel very badly that you and Mrs. Weeks lost loved ones in automobile accidents. But Mark, I am hardly naive. And don't question my parenting style as you do not know me nor do you know my kids. I am opposed to this and am allowed to be. Just as a perv can look into the window of a car, so can the police. Pull them over if need be. I can tell you this, if my kids break the rules that my husband and I expect to have followed and/or a law that the system implements, they lose the car. I don't need a red tag for that. That is how I parent, not how I "friend". But thank you for the advice.
stacie bohr August 07, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Agreed.
jpollent August 07, 2012 at 10:58 PM
mark, why is it so difficult for PARENTS to make sure their kids follow the law? Why must everyone be burdened by the apparently poor parenting of a few? When I tell my children to obey the law, they either do it or they lose the car or priviledge of driving with friends.
Denobin August 07, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Here's one for everybody: How about we put a silver sticker on senior citizens license plates? You know, just to make sure that they're not having a stroke or heart attack. Don't worry that they may become the target of a mugging or carjacking because they are old. It's for everyone's safety! How about requiring that you put a sticker on your rear when you're carrying more that $1000 in cash? Why not? This way the police can check to make sure you're not a drug dealer. Don't worry, no one will try to rob you. It's for everyone's safety! Would you put a sign on your car that says your teenage daughter is alone in the car? Of course not, but this law would have you do the equivalent. BTW: Our esteemed Star-Ledger has an op-ed piece today in support of the supreme court decision. Why doesn't everyone write in and let them know how you feel?
Denobin August 07, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Excerpt from Star_Ledger piece: "The red decals don't make teen drivers safer, but they are the best tool that police have to spot teen drivers and enforce safe-driving laws. The more tickets written, the more word will spread that those laws should be taken seriously." So there you have it. This is not about protecting our kids, it's solely about making it easier to write tickets. Thank you for the honesty, Star-Ledger editor.
CHB August 08, 2012 at 12:07 AM
I belive that the stickers could put my daughter in danger quite simply why risk it
Jersey August 08, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Denobin: I thought your comment that my "argument" (actually, an opinion, I wasn't really arguing) was "pathetically weak" was nasty. I also was a little offended at your insinuation that I don't have kids (I do) and that those without kids should let the others make the decisions (really?). I'm a lawyer. I tend to look at these types of issues more logically than emotionally, which sometimes pisses off very emotional people. I haven't read the decision yet but I suspect the court found no invasion of privacy (which I agree with) from a legal standpoint. That doesn't mean it's a good law. Just that it's Constitutionally permissible. People often miss that nuance (see the recent healthcare decision). For the record, I'd actually be as ok with senior stickers as I am with teen ones. But again, I'm really not in favor of any of it as I doubt the program does enough good to negate the harm (let's say, embarrassment, red tape and potential for profiling - even aside from your rapist concerns). And frankly it's a little Big Brother-ish to me. But perhaps at the root of my lack of anger towards the law is that I firmly believe our children are far more at risk of dying in a car accident than being stalked, raped and/or killed by a deranged pedophile. So there you go.
Madison Cyclist August 08, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Denobin, why not get in touch with your elected representatives and let them know how you feel about this issue.
Denobin August 08, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Jersey, Very well reasoned. I agree with your assertion that the chances of them getting into a car accident are greater than being stalked, all else being equal. However, both the editorial and others have admitted that this program would do nothing to prevent teen drivers from doing stupid things; this is where education comes in. At the same time, the risk does increase, however minuscule, that it could make them a target for a creep. Maybe what I'm having trouble figuring is exactly how, in the balance, this materially improves the situation. And you are right, "pathetically weak" was unnecessarily harsh. Please allow that this was an impassioned response from a concerned parent. I enjoy the open dialog of this forum and I don't want to be the cause of anyone turning away from it.
Denobin August 08, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Madison: Thank you, that is a great idea! I have done exactly that in the past concerning this very same issue and I will do so again. Furthermore I would suggest everyone who feels strongly about this issue (either side) do the same.
Jersey August 08, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Denobin, we're good. Thanks for your consideration and please know that I truly understand where you're coming from.
Denobin August 08, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Same to you and thanks. And I will try to be more logical ;-)
Edna Malyack August 08, 2012 at 02:06 AM
I agree with you and would like to add that if your child parks their car in a driveway facing the street you are now letting the perverts know that a minor (or two) live int the house! Even if you remove the "red tag" the velcro stays on. The last time I checked, there isn't any other reason to have velcro on your license plates!
Dee August 08, 2012 at 02:19 AM
I don't think it should have been argued as a violation of privacy. It isn't. What it if anything, I would say, would be some sort of discrimination not sure if it would be age or possibly sex discrimination? I only say that because even though boys are targets, women are statistically at a disadvantage of an assault. It isn't a proper way to uphold the laws. None of this was necessary when I was driving. We had kids due in school from car accidents. Think of something else to uphold the law. Remember when the seatbelt law first came out? You could not be pulled over for just not wearing one. But you could get a ticket if you were not wearing one and pulled over for something else. I feel for this girls mother I really do but I don't agree with it. I am more afraid of the drunk driver that might be next to me than a kid who has a GDL.
Pam Fischer August 08, 2012 at 02:27 AM
The #1 killer of teens is car crashes, not predators, not drugs, not suicide... it's car crashes. The best "proven" tool we have for addressing this is Graduated Driver Licensing (studied around the world), which puts in place provisions that restrict teens from doing those things that cause them the greatest risk (distraction caused by their peers, driving at night, using electronic devices). However, if these provisions aren't enforced -- and teens know without an identifer police can't enforce them -- there will be teens who simply violate the law. While GDL enforcement has to start at home, once a teen driver is on the road it's up to law enforcement to intervene if they violate these provisions and put themselves and others at risk (60% of people who are injured or killed by teen drivers are other roadway users). This concept of identifying novice drivers via decal or placard has been used in other countries (UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Japan) for years without incident. It not only aids with enforcement, but alerts other drivers a novice is on the road. My son will be taking his driving test next week -- we have the decals on our cars and they'll remain until he's fully licensed. Yes, I'm the chief enforcer of GDL, but I want him stoppped and cited if he violates the law. Rather he get a ticket, then I get a knock on my front door. Extreme? Yes, but it's my job to ensure he survives the most dangerous thing he'll do in his teen years -- drive.
Patrice Schaffer August 08, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Like your comment...just saying...
Peppermint Patti August 08, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Total agree that it puts the kids in danger of predators and also law enforcement that are not quite the most honest people. Also, I really think its not the governments business how old the people driving the car is. I would be worried about someones daughter or son. The cops around here don't have enough to do but harass our kids plus its just revenue for the town. I'm glad my kids are old enough that this doesn't apply. My son was stopped on Beekman lane at the time he was 17 and his hair was about to his shoulder, it was about 11:45pm and was about 1 mile from home and was stopped he asked why he was stopped the cop told him because he didn't have his high beams on. Cop took his credentials went back to his car came back in a min or two and told him to go home. When he came home told us about it and all of us were all very confused WHY must you have your high beams on. So I call the station in the morning and the cop ran his plates and told me no one ever ran them the night before and they asked us if he saw the car # or name of cop and my son didn't. Needless to say you think the cop thought he was pulling over a girl late at night on a very dark section of the road. Hummmm what do you think was up with that. The cop total didn't follow procedure. we need to protect our kids, not the government.
Adriana August 08, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Without a doubt? Wow that's a pretty big assertion there, Mark. True, kids do drive irresponsibly sometimes, but I've seen plenty of grown men in Corvettes weaving in and out of traffic that are just as dangerous. Plus, the idea that it puts teenagers at risk isn't so much when they're in the car, it's when they're parked. If a rapist sees a sticker they can be sure that it will be a young person with only one other person in the car, or none at all, and they can wait for that child to come back to their car.
Adriana August 08, 2012 at 03:30 AM
I'm interested where you get your information-- new drivers cause the most accidents? take a look at the DOB of the drivers of every accident in Passaic county in 2011. There's a heck of a lot of adults on that list. http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/refdata/accident/drivers.shtm
Adriana August 08, 2012 at 03:34 AM
I actually wrote to the ACLU when this law first came out, and the NJ chapter didn't really say that I didn't have a case, but they said they couldn't handle another cause.
Peppermint Patti August 08, 2012 at 03:36 AM
totally agree!!!!
Patrice Schaffer August 08, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Hi Phyllis... You and I are on the same wave... I can't imagine losing a child but I also have 3 girls who I try so hard to bring up in this world the right way by teaching them to make right choices and know that some of their choices may not be the right ones.. Heck... I've made some pretty bad choices in my life... I understand we want to protect our children as best as we can but we also have to understand that they will make their choices no matter we think it's right or wrong. No red sticker is going to save these kids lives... why doesn't anyone understand that? Parents need to be there for their kids and help them make the right decisions and if they make bad decisions (or what we think is bad) how to live with that. That's life. That's how we all have to learn. Don't put your kids in a bubble.
oldsoldier August 08, 2012 at 10:27 AM
For those of you who disagree with this law, I agree with you. I believe it does make our children easier targets for predators. However, many of you claiming to be "parents" that use bad or bored cops as your excuse to be against the law puzzle me. I think some of you are the children who were stopped. I cannot believe any self-respecting parent would come here to protest their child being stopped by the police and automatically asserting their child is right. Also, the privacy rights argument is stupid, in my opinion. Why don't you look at the facts of the tragic accident? The accident happened around 8:30pm. Why not question how limiting the time a minor is allowed to drive to 1200am would have prevent the very accident that started all this? In my opinion, this is yet another example of laws being passed to compensate for a lack of parental involvement. How many fatal accidents involving minors would have been prevented if parents "just said no", or drove the minors themselves, or checked on the minors frequently? You should stop blaming the police, and look to yourselves for the answers. I also agree with the position that if minors have to have a sticker, then the elderly should too. I do not beleive that will happen though, because the elderly vote, minors do not. But you as parents should vote, and look at the politicians who support these kind of laws and decide if this is what you want or not.
stacie bohr August 08, 2012 at 11:45 AM
What kind of sticker should be put on the back of a police car of an officer who I saw driving the other day while on his cell phone? And I've seen that more than once.
The "Original" Hopatcong Mom August 08, 2012 at 11:46 AM
I think the law does BOTH, makes it easier for police to "harrass" as well as making them an easy target! First, I do not think a teenager will change the way they drive because they have a sticker, so an accident is an accident regardless! I do not think a red sticker is going to make anyone feel safer on the road....it just makes it easier for a pedophile to identify their car and I am not saying following this person....I would be more worried if the teen works at the mall or a fast food place or movie theatre (any job that gets out after dark)....all a pedophile would have to do is cruise the parking lot looking for red stickers and then just wait for the teenager to get to their car....surprise (a tragedy occurs)! When my children are of driving age, they WILL NOT get the stickers and if they need them for the test, I will scrape them off afterwards! My children will not a be a victim of profile or circumstance!!
Kimberly August 08, 2012 at 11:58 AM
I think the law is total age discrimination!! I have seen some adults and senior citizens driving far more worse than teenagers! If you are going to require red stickers for teens, then you might as well do blue for the 20's, yellow for the 30's, green for the 40's and black for anyone over 50!! My children WILL NOT be using the stickers....I will not make them a target for police or pedophiles!! Straight from the Kyleigh's Law appeals: "The young drivers subject to (Kyleigh's Law) have no reasonable expectation of privacy in their age group because a driver's age can generally be determined by his or her physical appearance, which is routinely exposed to public view." That's right....look in the car to see their age....if they are in a moving violation of some kind, then you should be able to "see" their age! Red stickers are just to "promote" lazy cops!!
stacie bohr August 08, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Maybe the parenting in question is yours. That is, if you have kids.
Patrice Schaffer August 09, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Great job Dee - Hit it right on the mark. Oh and by the way everyone. My 17 year old just got her license 7/31 and they never once (DMV) asked us for her red sticker, never had put it on the car and it wasn't even in our glove box. She passed her road test and nobody said anything about the red sticker. No it will not be going on her car at all. YUP... I'm the bad mommy - I'm teaching her to break the law.
Matt Profaci August 11, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Legislation on these things still exists? I think that it is a de facto agreement by everyone in this state, including police, that they are completely irrelevant and ineffective. More moms with teens drive with these things on their plates than actual kids do.

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