Compliance With and Enforcement of Graduated Driver Licensing Restrictions

Am J Prev Med. 2017 Jan;52(1):47-54. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.08.024. Epub 2016 Oct 13.


Introduction: Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) is the most effective strategy to reduce the burden of young driver crashes, but the extent to which young intermediate (newly licensed) drivers comply with, and police enforce, important GDL passenger and night-time restrictions is largely unknown. Population-level rates of intermediate drivers' compliance were estimated as well as police enforcement among crash-involved drivers who were noncompliant.

Methods: New Jersey's statewide driver licensing and crash databases were individually linked. The quasi-induced exposure method's fundamental assumption-that nonresponsible young intermediate drivers in clean (i.e., only one responsible driver) multivehicle crashes are reasonably representative of young intermediate drivers on the road-was borrowed. Incidence was then estimated among the 9,250 nonresponsible intermediate drivers who were involved in clean multivehicle crashes from July 2010 through June 2012. The proportion of crash-involved noncompliant intermediate drivers who were issued a GDL citation, by crash responsibility, was calculated. Data were collected in 2013 and analyzed in 2015.

Results: Overall, 8.3% (95% CI=7.8%, 8.9%) of intermediate drivers' trips were noncompliant with New Jersey's passenger restriction and 3.1% (95% CI=2.8%, 3.5%) with its night-time restriction; compliance was significantly lower among those residing in low-income and urban areas, among male drivers, on weekends, and in summer months. The proportion of crash-involved noncompliant intermediate drivers who were issued a GDL citation was low (nonresponsible drivers, 10.3%; responsible drivers, 19.0%).

Conclusions: The vast majority of intermediate driver trips are in compliance with GDL restrictions. Outreach activities should consider focusing on higher-risk situations and groups with higher noncompliance rates.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Automobile Driving / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Law Enforcement*
  • Licensure / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Male
  • New Jersey
  • Young Adult