Our local paper ran a column today regarding new limits on "provisional" licenses, the majority of which are issued to teens. The column, along with my letter to the writer, follows. Riled by new limits on teens? Get over it Friday, April 17, 2009 Last updated: Friday April 17, 2009, 9:04 AM By JOHN CICHOWSKI ROAD WARRIOR COLUMNIST With Governor Corzine signing teen driving restrictions into law at a Morris County high school, Wednesday turned into a great day in the annals of driver improvement — except for this road warrior. Since my car was in the shop, I found myself operating a rented Ford Expedition that seemed to stretch for four city blocks. Falling out of this brown monster in The Record parking lot didn't hurt as much as forgetting where I parked it. (Of course, I was looking for my little gray Honda.) As I learned long ago, the things we do best are things we do frequently. A few hours later, I was doing one of the things I'd never done before: Searching for my car at the sprawling West Morris High School parking lot in Washington Township. (I had missed the last shuttle bus.) Thank God for the bright young senior who led me out of this wilderness. Since she was obviously a much more able navigator than I, her comment caught me off guard. "As an 18-year-old driver, I don't see why I have to be treated like a kid." She was referring, of course, to the two revisions of the Graduated Driver License laws that the governor had just signed into law. Kyleigh's Law, named for a West Morris teen killed in a 2006 crash, makes New Jersey the first state to require probationary drivers to stick Velcro identifiers on their license plates to make it easier for police to spot GDL violators. The second law bans these drivers from the road after 11 p.m., an hour earlier than the current curfew. Please Follow Copyright Guidelines Bureaucracy. Details must be worked out. Vendors who will provide the identifiers must be qualified — a lengthy process under state law. Decal sales will likely be made at convenience stores, not state Motor Vehicle Commission offices. Because all the bills are considered part of an interlocking package, all must take effect at the same time — probably in May or June 2010. By that time, my parking lot chaperone will be pushing 20, probably with more than 1,000 hours of driving under her belt, and I'll be ready to trade in the Honda for something simple. As I learned — again — on Wednesday: One of the easiest times to make mistakes is during the trial period of any new endeavor. The lesson became ever-clearer after I'd dropped off the Ford Expedition with Danny, the 20-something at the rental office. By the time I got home, Danny was ringing my phone. "Can you stop back here? You left your Bluetooth in the car." NorthJersey.com: Riled by new limits on teens? Get over it firstname.lastname@example.org As the spouse of a professional driving instructor, with over 30 years of experience at his trade, and having had the privilege of being the mom of three teen drivers, I have no "beef" with limitations on them. As in any educational environment, however, it is a shared responsibility. Finally, there is some acknowledgement that there must be parental involvement in the learning of driving. I do take exception with your "case" which states "A total of 37 teen drivers and 23 teen passengers were killed in New Jersey last year." What you didn't mention was that, according to State DOT and State Police data, located online, 597 people died on Garden State roads, the result of 562 fatal crashes, in 2008. That means that teens were just about 10% of the total persons killed in motor vehicle accidents last year. Should we research what age groups made up the other 90%? Please, don't misunderstand. I'm of the opinion that each and every licensed driver should be subject to re-testing within a subscribed period of time. After all, most tend to become lax about their habits, and many ignore their failing eyesight as they reach middle age, not to mention the many who don't want to lose their independence as they've already become "golden". Let's make the focus on driving rather than who is driving.