New Jersey

New Jersey Supreme Court Reviewing Kyleigh's Law Requiring Young Drivers to Display Red Decals


kind of like that classroom exercise meant to teach about discrimination

After 16-year-old Kyleigh D'Alessio died in a car crash involving a "provisional" driver, the state of New Jersey tightened its already strict regulation of young drivers, which includes curfews and other restrictions for drivers under the age of 21. The most prominent provision of "Kyleigh's Law," the vehicle used by legislators to tighten restrictions on young drivers, requires youth to display red decals on their license plates. Yesterday, the state Supreme Court heard arguments about the constitutionally of Kyleigh's Law, which an appeals court upheld last year.

The decal requirement came into effect in May 2010 and was met by fierce opposition by young people and their parents. While some youth see the decal requirement as an invasion of privacy, most parents, and, importantly, the legislators and bureaucrats that move to their whims, have focused on the decal turning young people into targets for pedophiles and other potential predators on the open road. So, more of a safety outrage than a rights one (surprised?)

Unfortunately for that line of attack, a state Attorney General's report released last year showed only one incident of a young person targeted because of their decal. Meanwhile in the Supreme Court, Kyleigh Law's opponents seem to have ceded the idea that the police are "entitled" to know a driver is a young person. Via NewsWorks:

"The decals certainly allow the police to see that person is between the ages of 17 to 21, but the point is — and the reason for this appeal is — it allows everyone else to see it too, people who are not entitled," [Attorney Gregg] Trautmann said.

The State of New Jersey, on the other hand, argues that "age group is simply not identifying, it is a general thing that's observable." The Supreme Court is expected to make a ruling later this year. Reason on why dead kids make bad laws.

ReasonTV talks to National Youth Rights Association President Jeffrey Nadel on Fighting Youth Discrimination:

NEXT: Medicare's Messed Up Payment System

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. a state Attorney General’s report released last year showed only one incident of a young person targeted because of their decal.

    But if removing the decals saves *just one* young life ….

    1. ^^this^^

    2. Of course that 1 person’s life is less valuable than the 1 person’s life who precipitated this law… The first thing I think of when someone is on the cell phone and swerving all over is to check their license plate for a tiny 1″x1″ sticker to say – “Yep, they are inexperienced, I should give them lots of room.”.. because without that sticker I would be oblivious to that… Though, if I were fapping my way down the highway, and saw a sticker on a brand new Red VW Beetle, it would CERTAINLY be a magnet…

  2. I have a hard time understand why this isn’t considered discrimination based on age. SLD

    1. Oh, I’ll just bet you’re hard thinking about all those fresh young girls.

      1. The mingled scents of Clearasil and watermelon bubblegum are not a turn on for me.

        1. NutraSweet prefers the odors of Geritol and hemorrhoid cream.

          1. Leave Warty out of this. What we have is none of your goddamn business.

            1. That’s Icy Hot, not hemorrhoid cream. How many times have I told you that, you moron?

              1. You say that EVERY TIME, and then I see the Preparation H tube. Why can’t you just tell the truth?

              2. This kind of stuff is why no women ever come around this place except for the 10 or so that do.

                1. Shut up, you cunt.

                  1. See. See?!?

                    1. All I see is someone who uses a LOT of Preparation H.

                    2. All I see is an Atreides I wish to kill.

                    3. The slow blade penetrates the shield. By which I mean your small penis can’t break my hymen. I think that’s what I mean; I drank a lot of cough syrup this morning.

                    4. This is why no one with a hyman ever reads H&R.

                    5. Now that may well be true.

              3. Doesn’t using IcyHot as hemorrhoid cream kinda sting?

    2. It’s only age discrimination if it’s against people who can vote.

      1. 18-21-year-olds can vote. That’s why I’m wondering. I pretty much expect them to keep harassing the under-18 set.

        1. 18-21-year-olds can vote.

          Good point.

          It’s only age discrimination if it’s against people who can actually vote.

  3. I wonder what Justice Clarence Thomas would have to say on this?

    1. “Check their panties for extra decals. pix plz”

      1. Red sticker = strip search

  4. The decals certainly allow the police to see that person is between the ages of 17 to 21

    No they don’t. Not unless the decals are removable, so that anyone over the age of 21 can take it off if they are driving the car, and young drivers are required to put them on any car that they happen to be driving.

    1. They are, RC. The decals are removable so if a parent and child share a car, you can take them off or replace them depending on who is driving. But really, who is going to go through the trouble to peel-and-stick a decal depending upon whom possesses the keys?

      Overall I think laws like this are dumb, another Dead White Girl Law that just makes life a pain in the ass for everyone. Do 17 year old drivers have a learning curve? Yes, absolutely. But, every driver over 21 out there now was once a driver of 17, and there seems to be little harm done by their presence on the road as they learn. A sticker ID’ing them as under-21 doesn’t make me feel safer driving in NJ – that’s already risky enough as is, especially if you travel the northbound Parkway during rush hour.

      1. Some people don’t learn to drive until they’re in their 20s, particularly in dense urban areas. How does being over 21 make you a safer driver, if you just learned last week?

      2. Southbound is WAY more dangerous on the parkway – all the people coming home from work all pissed off and road ragey sitting in traffic by the Pkway bridge before 127 :-). Not to mention the 18 goddamn lanes and the new $1.50 toll. Your lucky if you don’t get shot – let alone run into. The pedophile argument is more about people being scared of the cops than actual pedophiles. Cops in NJ (as they do in every state) completely shaft young drivers, especially if there is someone else in the car with them. This just makes it easier for them to hit their quotas and people don’t like it. I’m glad I left.

  5. most parents, and, importantly, the legislators and bureaucrats that move to their whims, have focused on the decal turning young people into targets for pedophiles and other potential predators on the open road.

    This is one moral panic with staying power.

    1. It’s been institutionalized into our legal system. It’s not going anywhere.

      1. Don’t be so negative. Hope for the best.

        *Prepares noose*.

        1. Pedophiles are Salem’s witches for the 21st century. So a stake and tinderpile would be more appropriate.

    2. Who’s going to tell these morons that pedophiles don’t like 17-year-olds, let alone 21-year-olds?

      1. Apparently, NJ residents don’t give a fuck about rights — it’s all about safety for college-age kids from Pedobear.

        1. Seriously, what kind of retarded Pedobear goes after college kids when younger, tenderer fare is available at the HS, middle school and nursery level?

          ex-New Jerseyan

      2. Seriously, FFS. Pedophiles like pre-pubescent children, not generally biologically adult late teens/early 20-somethings.

      3. Seriously. Being attracted to sexually mature teenagers is not pedophilia. It is natural adult sexual attraction. It’s probably inappropriate for an older adult to act on such attraction in most cases, but that doesn’t make it some kind of unnatural perversion.

        1. FYI, The age of consent in NJ is 16.

        2. I mean it’s bad enough how much I feel a need to point out to people that Humbert Humbert was not a pedophile. But at least Lolita was way younger than 17! I feel like part of my mission in life is “defending” non-pedophiles with age-inappropriate sexual attractions.

          No, sorry, my mission in life is defending the English language.

          1. Nicole,

            There is a word for those who are sexually attracted to teenagers. I forget it though.

              1. Thank you. Being at work I didn’t want to run the search to find it.

                1. I don’t think typing “sexually attracted to teenagers” into a blog comment at work is much better.

      4. They mean ephebophiles.

    3. Lol I was going to point out the inherent logic fail in that statement given that you can’t get the drivers licence until you are 17 and a pedophile by definition is attracted to prepubescent kids.

      I suppose there might be a couple kids with hormonal problems that havn’t gone through puberty by 17 driving around but they ain’t common enough to be a concern.

      Further, not entirely certain what the age of consent is in NJ but if the age ranges that have to use the stickers really are 17 – 21 then at most 1/4th of the people with them would be under it meaning it would hardly be a useful targeting tool by “pedophiles”

      1. yeah. Isn’t 18 legal? Since when does sleeping with 18 year olds make you a pedophile.

        1. There were a bunch of fucktards running around calling Bill Clinton a pedo for getting with Lewinsky. It means nothing much any longer. An imagined other they can heap all sins on.

          1. And those are the same people who let their 10 year old wear shorts that say “Juicy” across the ass. The same people who destroy every civil liberty in sight in the name of “the children” would gladly whore their kids out to TV or Hollywood if there was a check or a chance to be on TV involved.

            We really are insane.

            1. Don’t say “we,” Kemosabe.

        2. Well women do have the vote now. It’s only a matter of time…

          1. See Sugar Free above. Apparently trading your wife in for a younger model makes you a pedophile.

    4. pedophiles arent interested in 17-21 year olds.

      1. I see everyone beat me to it.

    5. Since most people are honest, though, wouldn’t it be more helpful to have attractive teenage girls under the age of consent, wear readily-identifiable “jail bait” insignia?

  6. Why do older fucks have such a hardon for fucking with teenagers and the young? You can’t drink until you’re 21! Fuck you, I’m already there, I’ve got mine! Oh shit, you’re experimenting with sex? Let’s put you in jail for statutory rape! You want to drive? Let’s put a shit-ton of restrictions that I would personally never stand for, but fuck you, you’re young! You got caught drinking one beer and driving, and you’re 3 months away from your 21st birthday? Fuck you! Zero tolerance! You just lost the license you need to go to your job for 6 months!

    1. How are the young going to pay for the retirement of the old if they are treated like this?

    2. Having kids makes a large portion of the voting public’s IQ plunge about 50 points. There’s no reason it should, but the correlation is extremely consistent.

      For those who have kids and don’t turn into morons, please keep up the good fight.

      1. It’s definitely a fight. For anyone who’s ever been to a gathering of school moms, you know what I’m talking about.

        1. +10000000000000000000000000000000000

          I’ve gotten to the point where I correct the mistakes on all the school handouts that come home with my kids and send them back.

          1. Grammatical, or logical? Or both?

            1. Yes.

              1. “pleas send monay 4 drug awarenuss weak. thankx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

                – mrs. slattery”

                1. I’ve gotten emails from Nigerian princes that were easier to read then some of the papers they bring home.

                  1. *than some

                    In before the pedants.

          2. I had to sit through a parent meeting with the elementary school principal at a well-respected private school once. I almost lost it after about 15 minutes. I was there to find out if they were going to reinstitute a foreign language program the next year. Instead, I had to listen to (these are not made up):

            “I think everyone should get a ribbon for field day.”

            “I object to the school uniform code because it doesn’t provide an exception for my daughter to wear a pink ribbon in her hair.”

            “I don’t have to work, so why don’t you have an after-school program for kids whose parents can pick them up on time?” (No, really)

      2. That’s a separate issue. That’s over their young kids. When the kids get to teenage level, people go a completely different place. They envy the young, they think they’re having all the sex they never had, doing all the things they never did, and it pisses them off, and they want to stop it. Of course, it’s all in their heads, but they’d never let reality stop them.

        1. You’ll understand when you have kids of your own.?

          1. That one’s almost as awful as “You’re not a woman, you couldn’t possibly understand!”

            1. Isn’t it though? “Sure you are rational now, but wait until you have kids and then you will be just as stupid and idiotic as the rest of us”. God that is infuriating.

              1. So, what yall are saying is that I only have about 2 more months of my sanity left?

  7. But what’s the alleged benefit to the decals? I don’t see how knowing the age of the driver means all that much. Many “mature” drivers are fucking idiots. And the senior citizens…holy shit.

    Of course there won’t be a decal for them, because they vote in large numbers.

    1. The alleged benefit is to the police that now have probable cause to stop a car at any time.

    2. No kidding. Your average teenage driver is still 5 times more aware of the traffic around him than female Asian drivers.

    3. Fucktarded bullshit passed into law by degenerate, authoritarian legislative bodies in really shitty, decrepit places isn’t really meant to address the issue it’s claimed to be made to address. Statism 101.

      1. Have you ever been to New Jersey? You do realize it’s extremely wealthy and not decrepit at all, right? Why do you keep saying collectivist, moronic things?

        1. Isn’t this about the seventh or eighth time this week you’ve baited someone with prissy indignation and amorphous dictations? One of the things I’ll never do, besides jumping off of a very tall building or consorting with socialists, is take socioeconomic advice from a fucking anarchist. Absorb the fucking cues and get a clue next time.

          While you’re at it, cuntstain, buy a fucking dictionary. Your shit’s beyond old.

          1. Thanks for the advice, collectivist. Say, next time you 1) talk about a place you know nothing about, and 2) collectively guilt everyone who lives there, you make sure you explain to me how you’re supposedly a libertarian. I could use more laughs.

            Oh, by the way, nothing is more ironic than you saying someone’s shit is beyond old, seeing as you’re more one note than a tuning fork.

            1. Now I miss MNG and John. Such a cute couple.

              [sniffs, wipes tear]

          2. It goes back way beyond a week, RPA.

        2. Any state that can produce Zakk Wylde is fine with me.

              1. It’s been covered.

                Don’t you realize that Aqua Teen Hunger Force has covered every subject, and thought of everything before you?

            1. Is this a Jersey band subthread? Ok, cool.

              1. Man, do I love tits.

                1. The model is Angel Boris, BTW.

            1. Seriously, I think I now need to watch this video several hundred times and come up with a theory for explaining the motivation for the top vs. no top dancer positioning.

        3. You do realize it’s extremely wealthy and not decrepit at all, right?

          Parts yes, parts no. You do realize the legislature is in Trenton, right? And its most populous city, Newark, is a total shithole.

    4. If anyone needs a warning sticker, it’s old people. It is amazing how many codgers there are out there who basically stay on the road by following either the white or yellow line. They have no clue what else is going on.

  8. I think people should be required to display decals warning others that they are from New Jersey.

    1. What if you were only born in New Jersey? Maybe a yellow star?

      1. “For your clothes, here’s a pretty flower.”

      2. A turnpike receipt stapled to your clothes.

        1. What if you only use the Parkway?

          1. You have bigger problems than a silly little decal.

            1. Well, obviously.

    2. They don’t need decals, they are self-evident.

    3. If for no other reason, to avoid getting near them at a non NJ/OR gas station.

    4. Everyone who drives in NJ knows its the Pennsylvanians who are the real menace. Compared to PA drivers, New Yorkers and Jerseyans are out for Sunday strolls any day of the week.

  9. I have a 15-year-old and live in NJ. They can fuck themselves if they think I’ll be putting that on our cars.

  10. Is it illegal to put a decal on your license plate if you are over 21? If not, you could have a fun campaign to make them worthless.

  11. Sounds like a law that originated from one of those thought experiments given to first graders. Yet another ridiculous waste of everyone’s time that accomplishes nothing beyond 1 press release which allowed a bunch of do-nothings to state “See, we DID SOMETHING” in response to an anecdotal event.

    1. originated from one of those thought experiments given to first graders.

      Roughly equivalent to a meeting of the state legislature

  12. My new hobby is going through mall parking lots and removing all of the red tags from license plates.

    1. BTW, the article didn’t mention that the decals are velcro so a parent can take it off when they are driving the car.

  13. How does this law identify drivers under 21? I’d imagine a huge number of those drivers don’t have their own cars, but use their parents’ cars, and those cars are driven by their parents most of the time. So the majority of the time, the cars that have decals are being driven by people over 21.

    1. Decals are removable. And I suppose if you avoid getting pulled over, they’ll never know how old you are.

  14. What’s the penalty for not having a sticker? What happens if someone fails to comply with the demand that they display a (metaphorical) Scarlet letter for driving under the influence of youth?

    1. oh, $100 fine. RTFA.

      1. Ah, so that’s their angle. The sticker is both for revenue generation and to give the cops an excuse to pull over teenagers. For the children.

  15. If I die and you push a law through in my name to try to prevent my type of death from happening again, I will haunt you.

    1. But what if it’s for the CHILDREN?

      1. Double haunting with bleeding walls and knives thrown across the room.

    2. I don’t think anyone will need to push through a law to prevent being crushed to death by a dead bald guy.

      1. Not even for TEH CHILDREN?!?!?!

        1. Thanks for not defending my athletic stature, honey. Thanks a fucking lot.

          1. I assumed he meant crushed to death by a dead bald man’s ginormous penis.

            1. Is that the sound of divorce papers unfolding? Already?

              1. ???
                This is forplay for us.

                1. So foreplay for you starts with sloopy smacking you in the face with divorce papers? I could think of a better thing for him to be smacking your face with.

      2. Don’t be crushed to death by a dead bald guy. Get DirecTV.

  16. Sadly, I bet this is upheld. Age is not a suspect class under the Equal Protection clause. That means it is only held to a rational basis standard. If they can keep 18 year old people from drinking, they can probably probably make them wear a gold Star of David, I mean decal on their license plate.

    And for the record New Jersey leads the nation in crazy oppressive laws. Their rape statute requires affirmative consent. That means that unless the defendant shows the victim affirmatively consented, he is guilty regardless of the circumstances.

    1. What if HE doesn’t affirmatively consent? Does that make her guilty too?

      1. They can perp each other then I guess. Either that or it is who ever gets to the police to cry rape first.

        1. NJ has a standard consent form. It’s really very simple. You can also use an electronic signature.

          1. But how do we know she wasn’t coerced into giving consent? Does there have to be affirmative consent to the affirmative consent? Is there any end to how many forms have to be signed?

    2. As someone in the business of proving people gave consent, I can tell you the only way do so is produce a signed consent document.

      “Oh, baby, you are so hot. Oh, yeah, that’s the stuff. Now, if you could just sign here, and here. This is your copy, so if you could just sign this receipt. . . .”

      1. Since it concerns a physical function, would that be covered under HIPPA? Would you have to maintain security over the personal information contained in your sex consent forms? And of course no showing them to friends without further written consent.

        1. Only if you discover strangulated hemorrhoids during the PRE.

      2. I guess you’ll have to see if they have a DNF.

  17. This is the first thing I thought about – what if you drive a parent’s car? Other issues aside, anything that requires people to go about peeling and resticking decals on a routine basis is just too stupid to bother with. Very embarrassing for New Jersey, but I guess they’re used to it.

  18. 21? Jesus Christ, in 20 years childhood will be officially extended to 29 and a PHD will be equivalent to a highschool degree.

    1. I thought that had already happened. I guess maybe we’re just at MA level. I give it five more years.

  19. The pranking opportunities are just endless. Go through parking lots, swiping red stickers AND put permanent red stickers (easily made, I’m sure) on cars at random.

    C’mon, NJ. I’m counting on you.

    1. Oh, RC, trust me, if I know my cousins, it’s already been done.

      1. Beat me to it. Sounds like the kind of thing I would have done whilst in high school, just to dull the boredom. But now I’ve got kids and all. I’ll just have to send my personal midget army out to do my bidding instead. Teaching them to be subversive is going to more entertaining than being subversive myself.

    2. I’m seeing a small business opportunity here, selling permanent stickers the right size and material to maladjusted yoot.

  20. The Red Badge of Dumbness.

  21. I once told a women with one of those “baby on board” stickers, “you know you are just letting pedophiles know there are kids in your house” as a joke. And apparently the people of New Jersey actually believe this and are using it to stop the other stupid people from putting stickers on kids cars.

    It is like a giant train wreck of stupid.

    1. The “baby on board” signs are kind of weird. What do they expect people to do differently if there is a baby in the car? Personally, I try to avoid crashing into other people, whether or not they have a baby with them.

      1. My car insurance and my doctor are generally happier when I don’t just randomly run into cars. I think idiotic rather than weird would be the term you are looking form.

      2. It was the same thing as the current fad with the cutesy stickers of mom and dad and two kids and a cat. They’re saying, “Look at me” without actually coming out and saying, “Look at me.”

        1. I don’t mind those. I wouldn’t have one. But they are not affirmatively annoying like the baby on board signs.

      3. Baby on board signs are intended to let paramedics and emergency crews know to look for a baby in the event of a car wreck.

        1. That is actually the first time I have heard that explanation. And it makes some sense, although it is doubtful paramedics would miss a baby in a car seat.

          1. They first became a thing in the 80s, back before car seats were mandated for everyone under a certain age. IIRC, some crew missed a kid in a blanket on the floor of a car full of people at an accident scene. Tragedy ensued.

            I hardly see them anymore, and I live in a gated community full of soccer moms who think everyone is responsible for the safety of their offspring. I guess now that junior is strapped in six ways from sunday everytime you leave the driveway, it’s less of an issue.

            1. Yeah, now you need to worry about parents cooking their children in the car because they’re the ones that forgot.

          2. I’ve heard that before, but always wondered how they think a two-cent suction cup stuck to a dirty window is going to stay in place during a car accident.

            Also, I seriously doubt everyone with those signs removed them when there wasn’t a baby on board. Along with the people who put the sign up just to make other drivers be careful around them.

  22. Hmm, the logic behind idiotic laws like this seems to be…

    “Someone died in arguably tragic circumstances, such tragedies must be prevented and retribution extracted from someone when they occur”

    ergo I propose the following law…

    ” Death is hereby outlawed, whenever anyone dies it is proof that a crime has been comitted and therefore a random person will be rounded up to spin the “Wheel O Punishment” which could result in their facing anything from a minor annoyance to the death penalty and simultaneously subjecting some random class of people to a random unrelated mandate for an indeterminate period of time”

    Then we don’t need any more of these laws passed, we’ll have all our bases covered in advance.

    1. Good idea, but what they really need to do is ban crime. I don’t know why states haven’t already done that. They must just like crime or something. Otherwise why wouldn’t they ban it?

  23. I don’t particularly see the benefit of the decals. Nor do I see the rights violation of them.

    1. Cops target teenagers just to fuck with them. They know they’ll usually be scared, don’t have lawyers and don’t know their rights. We had shithead cops in my small hometown who pulled kids over at random all the time. If asked their pc is always “there have been some burglaries in the area. Probabable cause is bullshit.

  24. Can’t you tell the young, white drivers by their faux gangsta lean?

    1. Not necessarily. My dad drove like that for years. He was as far from gangsta as it was possible to get and not be Amish.

      1. Maybe his gangsta lean wasn’t faux! Think about it…

  25. The State of New Jersey, on the other hand, argues that “age group is simply not identifying, it is a general thing that’s observable.”

    If it’s observable, then why is the state of New Jersey requiring places to check IDs to ensure that people are over 21 when purchasing alcohol?

    Also: fuck the 50 character limit.

  26. SOmetimes you just have to hit it up man wow.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.