A Traffic Time Bomb? Forgoing Road Tests and the Future of Road Safety

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

Because getting your driver’s license is not as important as protecting the lives of others.

Inspired by Georgia’s decision to grant driver’s licenses without tests, 17-year-old New Jersey high school graduate Jake Snyder petitioned his state’s governor, Phil Murphy, seeking similar leeway.

Titled “Allow 17-Year-Olds to Receive Their Driver’s License in New Jersey Without the Road Test,” Snyder’s campaign on Change.org got 11,000 signatures within five days last month. While New Jersey hasn’t changed its rules, Snyder’s petition marks a trend that experts worry could lead the country toward a crisis with thousands of untested drivers on the roads in coming months.

In May, a Wisconsin pilot program waived road tests for a probationary driver’s license for drivers under the age of 18 who have successfully completed training requirements. With Department of Motor Vehicles test centers shut, Texas in late April allowed those with a state learner’s permit and otherwise eligible to apply for a provisional or unrestricted license to get one by simply requesting it.