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Important Driving Tips for Mendham Students

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Important Driving Tips for Mendham Students

Gaby Acevedo and Joelle Beck

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Here are some important things you need to know about being a student driver here in Mendham, NJ.

 

Basic Steps to Obtain your Basic Driver’s License in NJ

  1. Turn 16 years old.
  2. Go to a local driving school and have them purchase your permit.
  3. Take and pass the Knowledge Exam and the vision test.
  4. Do your six hours of driving with an instructor (this is done through the driving school).
  5. Practice driving with parents and/or guardians for at least six months until you turn 17.
  6. Go to the DMV to take and pass the Road Test.
  7. Get your Probationary License.
  8. Practice driving with your Probationary License until you turn 18.
  9. Go to the DMV and get your Basic Driver’s License.

 

Important Laws/Restrictions that You Should Know

 

For a Special Learner’s Permit: After you have passed the Knowledge and Vision tests and completed your six hours, you are free to drive. However, there are a few restrictions you must know before you hit the road.

  1. You must be accompanied by a parent/guardian or an adult who is over the age of 21 and who has a New Jersey license with a minimum of three years of driving experience at all times. When under a Special Learner’s Permit you cannot drive unsupervised.
  2. You can only drive between the hours of 5:01 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
  3. According to Kyleigh’s Law, all driver’s with a Permit or Probationary License under the ages of 21 must have the reflective red decals on the top left corner of the car’s license plate.
  4. When driving, you must always have your license/permit, registration, and insurance card.

 

For a Probationary License: After passing the road test at 17 years old you can finally drive alone. But, with this license, there are still some restrictions that you must follow.

  1. Although you no longer have to drive supervised there are still passenger restrictions that must be followed. Under a Probationary License, you cannot drive with more than one non-family member in the car.
  2. You can only drive between the hours of 5:01 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. unless you are returning home from work, school or a religious event that has no transportation provided.
  3. According to Kyleigh’s Law, all driver’s with a Permit or Probationary License under the ages of 21 must have the reflective red decals on the top left corner of their car’s license plate.
  4. When driving, you must always have your license/permit, registration, and insurance card.

 

 

Important Tips for New Drivers

Although driving in Mendham is not too tricky, here are some important tips on how to drive safely through the town.

 

Winter Driving During the winter, driving can become very difficult due to ice and snow on the roads. Both of these increase the possibility of a crash occurring. In these conditions, drivers should take precautions and get a feel for the road. In an interview with Mr. Ressler, a driver’s education teacher here at Mendham High School, he also recommended planning ahead. Ressler noted that “if you normally leave your house at 7:15, you should probably leave by 7:05. Plan the extra 5 to 10 minutes to combat any traffic.” This is a helpful tip to know in the winter. Drivers will be going slower on purpose so they can stop as safely as possible. If you want to be on time to wherever you are going, it is best to leave early.

 

Obeying the Speed Limit In Ressler’s opinion, the main reason why probationary drivers get pulled over is because of both aggressive driving and distracted driving. Aggressive driving can be dangerous as emotions greatly affect someone’s ability to drive. It has a significant impact on the speed of the vehicle and extreme cases of aggressive driving may cause crashes. “The point of driving is to get from point A to point B as safely as possible and I think teenagers lose sight of that. Some adults lose sight of that as well and everyone is in a rush particularly in this area,” continues Ressler. Getting your license is a sign of freedom but it is important to recognize the level of responsibility that comes with it. New drivers should always remain calm and remember to follow the rules of the road.

 

Night Driving Almost 90% of driving decisions are based upon what a motorist sees while driving. At night, a driver’s vision is reduced so it is important to slow down and drive within the range of your vehicle’s headlights. In regards to night time driving, Ressler mentioned to only drive as far as you can see. He commented, “particularly in this area we do have wildlife and deer that tend to dart out into the roads when you don’t see them. Be able to only drive as fast as your headlights show.”

 

Staying Focused While Driving State law prohibits the use of handheld electronic devices while driving. Drivers who have obtained their basic driver’s license are allowed to utilize hands-free devices while driving, but GDL holders may not use any type of device, hands-free or handheld. Using devices behind the wheel when you have your special learner’s permit or probationary license is a violation of GDL restrictions. Despite this, new drivers still use phones while driving and it is a major hindrance to their focus on the road. When receiving a text or a phone call, some feel like they need to pay attention to their phones. This, in turn, puts the drivers and people around them in jeopardy. Ressler comments on the fact that “there are more apps out there than there ever has been before” and “the best thing teenage drivers can do is download an app that actually puts their phone into vibrate mode or silent mode and sends an automatic text message to the sender.” Having apps that auto-reply to text messages and get rid of notifications while driving reduce the temptations to use your phone.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/about/online.htm

NJ Driver’s Manual

 

Photo Link:

https://www.rd.com/advice/travel/driving-etiquette/

About the Writers
Gaby Acevedo, Staff Writer

Gaby Acevedo is a 15 year old Sophomore and this is her first year writing with The Patriot. She writes for the Center page, and when not writing for the...

Joelle Beck, Staff Writer

Joelle is a 15-year-old writer for the Patriot. As a sophomore, this is her first year writing for the school paper. She enjoys English and reading during...

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