Seeking Accountability, NJ Bars Plea Bargaining With Teen Drivers


New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram has issued a directive barring municipal prosecutors from offering bargain-down deals to provisional teen drivers. The directive is the first recommendation to be put into practice from Gov. Jon Corzine’s Teen Driving Study Commission, reports the Associated Press. The commission determined that New Jersey’s graduated driver’s license program was being undermined when young drivers were allowed to plead down to lesser motor vehicle offenses carrying no points.

In hearings on teen driving safety held throughout the state last winter, teenagers spoke openly about their willingness to flout motor vehicle laws because of lax consequences. Because graduated driver’s license holders are probationary drivers, “it is entirely appropriate that they be held strictly accountable for all motor vehicle violations,” Milgram’s directive says. Other recommendations of the teen driver safety panel being considered by the Legislature include an 11 p.m. curfew on provisional drivers and limiting to one the number of other teenagers who can be in the car with a provisional driver.


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