GDL Decals: Necessary Or Not?

Not Necessary


When someone looks up a picture of a target, the red decals that go on teenagers’ license plates should be the first thing that pops up.

The decals are part of the provisions under the 2010 Kyleigh’s Law, which came into effect after the death of Kyleigh D’Alessio. D’Alessio sadly died in a car accident where the 17 year-old driver  was violating the passenger restrictions, as well as the speed limit, at the time of the 2006 accident.  

With the creation of Kyleigh’s Law, teen drivers received a target on their back that they did not know was coming.

As stated in an article by Greg Gottlieb from The Press of Atlantic City, “By signing Kyleigh’s Law…Gov. Jon S. Corzine made New Jersey the first state in the nation to require drivers under the age of 21 to display a decal on their cars… these new laws will not serve as solutions to the problems they were created to minimize..they will create new dangers that did not exist before.”

With this law, police officers are not the only ones who can target teen drivers. The red decals indicate a teenager driving, which allows predators to be able to know who is behind the wheel. 

There are many factors that go into any car accident, whether you are a new driver or a more experienced driver. It is not just teenagers who can get into car accidents due to having a lot of people in the car or being on their phones.

According to a report done by the World Health Organization, roughly 1.25 million people lose their lives and 20 to 50 million suffer from injuries as a result of road traffic crashes every year. They also state that the leading cause of car accidents is distracted driving, more specifically cell phone use.  As stated on the WHO website, “Cellular phones are the main culprit of distracted driving. A study found that driving and talking on a cell phone simultaneously quadruples the risk of crashing.”  Surely, teen drivers are not the only ones tempted to use their cell phones while driving. 

One of the biggest problems that the red decals bring on is the drivers being targeted by police officers. Teenagers will get pulled over for doing something that was not even their fault. 

As stated in an article written by Victoria St. Martin for The Star-Ledger posted on, teenager Sara Murphy was pulled over as she was pulling out of her home. 

“Murphy said the officer asked if she was using a cell phone or iPod because he saw a light emanating from her car. When she told him she wasn’t — she said her passenger was using the iPod — she got a $54 ticket for obstruction of view for an air freshener and a guardian angel that hung from her rearview mirror,”  St. Martin reported.

Even though the red decals are supposed to keep the teen drivers, as well as other drivers, on the road safe, the decals end up doing more harm than good by putting a target on the teen drivers’ backs.