TRENTON - A special commission would study teenage driver safety in New Jersey under a bill that cleared the Legislature yesterday, just over two weeks after three teens died in a fiery crash in Monmouth County. The Senate voted, 40-0, to approve the bill, which passed the Assembly in June.

The 15-member commission would study and evaluate the availability and effectiveness of driver education and training programs for New Jersey teens. It would analyze the types of teenage driving accidents and contributing factors, while also assessing the problem of driving under the influence and aggressive driving among teenagers and whether defensive-driving and accident-prevention programs would prove effective. The commission is to complete its work within six months, reporting its findings and recommendations to the governor and the Legislature The bill needs only Gov. Corzine's signature to become law.

On Jan. 10, three Freehold Borough High School students were killed in a collision that also killed a 68-year-old woman in another vehicle. The 17-year-old driver of the car carrying the three students had a provisional license that restricted him to driving with only one non-relative as a passenger. Authorities said excessive speed played a role in the crash.- AP