One way to get teens involved in politics is to mess with their driver's licenses.
A recent New Jersey state law requires teen drivers with a provisional license to display a red decal on the front and rear license plates. The removable decals are $4 a pair, and failure to display a decal results in a $100 fine.
Also known as Kyleigh's Law, the decal will help police officials enforce N.J.'s Graduated Driver License laws, which prohibit teens (17-20 years of age) on a "probationary" license from driving between 11:01 p.m. and 5 a.m., and restricts teens to a one-passenger limit, regardless of family affiliation, unless a parent or guardian is in the vehicle.
Though the law screams common sense and is currently practiced in Canada and several European countries, N.J. state Sen. Tom Goodwin, teens, and their parents are rallying against what they're calling a bull's-eye of sorts that could make female teens easy prey for stalkers.
To protest what they argue amounts to profiling and the curtailing of their rights, teens are organizing and taking their cause to the new political frontline of Facebook.
Pages such as "Kyleigh's Law lets creepers know I'm young and alone," is liked by more than 14,000 people.
Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teens, with 3,500 dying in 2008 and more than 350,000 treated in emergency rooms as a result of car-related injuries in the United States. Reports show that a teen's risk for an accident is highest in the first year of driving, and their chances increases exponentially with the number of teen passengers in the vehicle.
The reactionary backlash is not entirely unfounded; protesters are citing a similar situation in Florida in the '90s in which decals on rental cars made tourists targets of crime. The law went into effect May 1, and it's too soon to tell what impact the new requirements have made, if any.
However, the DMV may experience increased revenue from sticker replacement because of the popularity of the Facebook game "Stealing Kyleigh's Law Stickers," liked by more than 1,200 fans.
(Source: WSJ via AutoWeek)