(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald, Deputy Speaker John J. Burzichelli and Assemblymen Wayne DeAngelo and Raj Mukherji that would allow driver’s license applicants to employ rearview cameras and parking sensors during road tests was advanced by the full Assembly on Monday.
“Virtually everyone who learns to drive today eventually will have to operate a vehicle equipped with this new technology, which is designed to make automobiles significantly safer,” said Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington). “This measure will update state statute to ensure that new drivers, driving instructors and Motor Vehicle Commission employees are clear about what is permissible during the road test.”
The bill (A-2789) would clarify that the use of rear visibility systems, parking sensors or other technology installed on a motor vehicle that enables the applicant to view areas directly behind the vehicle or alerts the applicant to obstacles while he or she is parking is permitted during a road test administered by the Motor Vehicle Commission.
A 2007 federal law requires all newly manufactured vehicles to be equipped with a backup camera by May 2018.
“The law soon will require all new cars to have rearview visibility systems, which are expected to reduce accidents involving children and others at greatest risk of being harmed in backover crashes,” said Burzichelli (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem). “If that will be the new standard, then allowing license applicants to use this new technology now simply is practical.”
“Technology aimed at improving automobile safety can serve its intended purpose only if drivers use it properly,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “This legislation will allow driver’s license applicants to prove that they are capable of operating a vehicle using what inevitably will one day be customary features on all cars.”
“As automotive technology advances, the road test must adapt accordingly,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “This legislation will give new drivers the option of using the methods they expect to employ most often and with which they feel most comfortable during the examination.”
The legislation was approved 71-4 by the Assembly. It was advanced by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee on Feb. 24.