Christopher Williamson, 12, of Cranford, N.J., was killed last year when his bicycle was struck from the rear by a delivery van. The van driver did not have a license. Motorists with revoked or suspended licenses who become involved in fatal accidents face three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. An unlicensed driver in New Jersey may be issued only a traffic summons, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. The van driver paid $430 in fines and court costs. “It should not be the case that someone can get into a multiton vehicle and go hurtling down the road without any sort of driver’s training and kill someone and for it to be just a traffic violation,” said Alan Williamson, Christopher’s father.
New Jersey lawmakers are working on a measure to be known as “Christopher’s Law” to plug the legal gap. The number of unlicensed drivers is a growing problem in New Jersey. There were 53,034 convictions last year, up from 39,444 in 2000. “It could be because of increased enforcment, especially in a post-9/11 world, or the fact that there are more drivers out on the roads, or it may be that more drivers are not renewing their licenses and are trying to get away with it,” said a state official.