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Young NJ Drivers Must Keep Red License Plate Decals Under Kyleigh's Law

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By Andrew Lu on August 08, 2012 6:44 AM

Kyleigh's Law was upheld by the New Jersey Supreme Court and young drivers will still have to keep a red decal on their license plates identifying them as young drivers.

The law was controversial as young drivers thought that they were being profiled by the red decal both by cops and potential predators. The challengers to the law argued that the Federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act made the red decals illegal.

The court did not agree and found that the decal identifying drivers as teen drivers did not constitute the release of "highly restrictive personal information," reports the Asbury Park Press.

Kyleigh's Law was named after a New Jersey teen who was killed in a car accident when she was riding in a car full of young people. New Jersey already had a law that restricted the number of passengers that a probationary driver could carry. However, without an easy way to identify young drivers, it was difficult for police officers to enforce the law. So Kyleigh's Law introduced the red decals for the probationary period and one year after.

The law was met with some opposition as drivers feared that they could be the victim of random attacks. Apparently, a young driver with a red decal was pulled over and harassed by a fake cop.

The New Jersey Supreme Court dismissed these concerns and found that the red decal did not provide any real private information. After all, another driver could simply look in a vehicle and have a rough estimate of the driver's age. The Driver's Privacy Protection Act that the challengers cited was meant to protect personal information like your Social Security number, driver's license number, and any medical or disability information.

Challengers to New Jersey's red decals have not given up and the parent who brought the lawsuit says he plans on challenging Kyleigh's Law all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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