In a recent report, US News & World Report placed New Jersey sixth in the nation in their "Best State for Teen Drivers" rankings. According to the report, several factors were researched - from driver fatalities to the Graduated Driver License (GDL) laws currently in effect.

"This is good news for all New Jersey motorists - our teens are becoming safer, smarter drivers," said Cathleen Lewis, director of public affairs for the AAA New Jersey Automobile Club. "AAA has fought hard to not only pass laws that will reduce teen driving fatalities, but has worked to encourage education and communication with teens about the importance of learning safe driving habits from the start."

Pointing to the new GDL laws that will go into effect in May, Lewis said New Jersey is poised to be a leader in teen driving laws.

"The new laws not only target the most dangerous behaviors - night driving and distractions from passengers and electronic devices, but they give law enforcement the tools they need to enforce the laws effectively," she said.

While praising the ranking of New Jersey in the top ten, Lewis noted that the report indicates the teen driving laws still need to be strengthened.

"Studies have shown that parental involvement and practice are keys to developing good driving habits. Our current laws do not effectively address these issues. We hope that, in the coming months, we can work with the Legislature to strengthen the laws and push New Jersey into the top spot in future rankings," Lewis added.

The AAA New Jersey Automobile Club, headquartered in Florham Park, provides automotive, travel, insurance, financial and educational services to residents of Essex, Morris and Union Counties. Visit AAA online at www.AAA.com.