Feasibility of Restricted Driver Licenses for Suspended New Jersey Drivers
Kusano, Stephanie Marie
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In 2010, there were 6,714,288 total registered drivers in New Jersey. Approximately 4% (267,485) of these drivers had a suspended driver's license. The intent of suspending a driver's license is to keep hazardous drivers off of the roads, in hopes of having a safer driving environment for others on the road. Drivers in New Jersey can have their driver's license suspended for a number of reasons. These include dangerous driving behaviors such as reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, there are also reasons for suspension that have little or nothing to do with driver behavior, such as failure to pay child support, failure to pay MVC insurance surcharge, or failure to appear in court. While these offenses are all due of consequence, they have little or nothing to do with driver behavior. This research program will conduct an analysis of the issues and implications of implementing a restricted-use license program for suspended New Jersey drivers, detailing key issues associated with restricted-use license programs. It was found that over two-thirds of suspended drivers in New Jersey receive driver's license suspensions for both driving and non-driving-related offenses, whereas only about four-percent of suspended drivers in New Jersey receive a driver's license suspension for driving-related reasons only. It was also found that drivers suspended for non-driving related reasons have different driver behavior than drivers suspended for driving related reasons. Surveying both New Jersey police chiefs, as well as U.S. state motor vehicle agencies, it was found that there is a generally positive perception of restricted driver's license programs. Overall, it is recommended that the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission implement a restricted driver's license program in New Jersey.
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