Save Our Teen Drivers

Advocating for driver's education changes. Educating the public on the problem. Finding a solution that saves lives.

Atlanta mom fights for new driver magnets

Posted by lapearce on July 6, 2009


Kessler has sold 15,000 of her magnets nationwide

Kessler has sold 15,000 of her magnets nationwide

Susie Kessler of Kennassaw Georgia is fighting for legislation that would mandate new drivers have a magnet that identifies them as novice drivers. She has formed a non profit called Caution and Courtesy Driver Alliance and has already sold 15,000 magnets. She thinks that the magnets will encourage other drivers to give new drivers space and pressure new drivers to be more cautious on the road. Magnets like this were recently mandated in New Jersey and are optional in Delaware


I have yet to see any studies that prove that identifying teen drivers work in reducing crashes. I am not writing the idea off, however. Especially not in states were teen drivers have more driving restrictions than adult drivers. The magnets will help law enforcement identify new drivers are allow them to be more accurate in enforcing teen driving laws, such as cell phone bans. I also feel that teens will know they are marked and drive safer to reduce their chances of tickets. It will be interesting to see how New Jersey’s crash rate is decreased once magnets are issued.

On the other side of the spectrum of the argument that magnets help reduce crashes, you have people who argue that the magnets infringe upon our freedoms and rights in America. The LRC Blog calls Kessler, “a bored, brainless, busybody citizen-tyrant who is rotten to the core.” Of course, the blog offers no proof to explain why her idea is “brainless”, but what do you expect from angry anarchists?

LRC calls itself an “anti-state, anti-war, pro-market” blog they are against any law that restricts any “rights” of the people. However, the writers of the blog are apparently unaware of what a right is. Human rights, as defined by the UN Doctrine on Human Rights, are: the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled. Driving is not a basic human right, but the ability to live a safe life is, and this right is infringed upon when one is injured or killed in a car crash. So in my opinion, magnets or any other restriction on teen drivers is not an infringement on any freedom or right because driving is not a right, it is a privilege. You earn the privilege to drive and you owe it to others to drive safety.

If we find that magnets lead to teens driving safer than it would infringe upon the freedoms of other drivers not to enforce them.


4 Responses to “Atlanta mom fights for new driver magnets”

  1. The New Jersey law mandates a removable sticker/magnet to identify the graduated or probationary driver to others (presumably this information is valuable only to the folks following the vehicle?). It is removable so that shared use of the vehicle is not an issue. Anyone want to bet on the likelihood of a teen “remembering” to put the sticker/magnet on whenever they drive?

    As with any secondary offense, enforcement will be very poor, even if police manpower was available.

    Other countries have very strict enforcement of new driver identification as a learner. I don’t know of any studies that have validated the use, but from what I understand in some places, the designation places an additional responsibility on the other drivers to be more careful around the new driver.

  2. safedriver said

    Do we really want to label our new drivers to the other drivers out there? Will these drivers, who normally drive reckless anyway, really give more space to new drivers? As a professional driving instructor, we are trained to keep the vehicle under control when a new driver is behind the wheel. Why not train the new driver to drive beside space and to reduce risk? Give them the skill needed to avoid the aggressive driver. Let the new driver blend in without the sign on their vehicle that says “hey, look at me…I’m a new driver!”

    Just my two cents worth….maybe even three!


  3. Lauren said

    I agree, I think the average driver is far to oblivious to recognize the magnet and drive responsibly around the new driver. I also think labeling new drivers runs the risk of giving some of the more immature drivers out there a target to mess around with on the road.

    I think the only benefits a magnet would hold would be identification for law enforcement and the effects that knowing they are being watched would have on the teen driver. One company out of Oregon,, makes stickers with an identification number on it. That way people who see a teen doing something dangerous on the road can go to the web site and report them. If you are going to rely on other people to monitor your child while they drive, that is probably the best option there is.

    But I couldn’t agree with you more, education is the best solution to the problem.

  4. safedriver said

    Thanks Lauren. I’m glad we share the same point of view. If parents also monitor when their new driver drives, it may help that new driver gain some needed experience in lighter traffic. I know it can be difficult, but perhaps limit how many passengers and who is allowed to be their passenger may also help reduce the risk. Lets not set them up for failure.

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