What a difference a few years make. When New Jersey implemented its first-in-the-nation decal provision as part of its Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program on May 1, 2010, it ignited a firestorm of protest from some parents and state legislators. Known as Kyleigh’s Law, it requires all 16- to 20-year-olds holding a learner’s permit or intermediate license to display a reflective decal on the front and back license plates of vehicles they are driving. Initial evidence from research conducted by CHOP shows that the decals work to reduce teen crash risk. A couple in Maine have created a pink decal of their own to help keep teens safe in memory of their daughter, Taylor, 15, who was killed in a crash with an inexperienced teen driver behind the wheel.
In a recent post, I described the health policy community’s keen interest in CIRP@CHOP’s research on New Jersey’s GDL “decal” requirement. Later that month the Public Health Law Webinar Series hosted a panel of research and program experts to discuss the NJ GDL Decal requirement.
A recent study demonstrated the early positive effect of New Jersey’s novice driver decals at reducing teen crash rates. Other states are also contemplating requiring novice drivers to display decals (also known as identifiers) on the outside of their vehicle when they are the driver. This got me thinking about what novice driver identifiers look like in other parts of the world.
This week, we were excited to learn that our article “Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Decal Law: Effect on Young Probationary Drivers” has been selected Robert Wood Johnson Research Foundation's No. 1 Most Influential Research Article of 2012 . How did a study on a single provision of one state’s GDL program grab the attention of health care policy stakeholders? I asked Allison Curry, PhD, MPH, lead author and director of epidemiology at CIRP@CHOP, about why she thought the study resonated so strongly with the broader public health community. She gave much credit to the state of New Jersey. Participate in a free Webinar on the topic on March 21, 2013, sponsored by the Network for Public Health Law.