Parents are using technology to monitor their teen-agers’ driving, reports the Washington Post.
Figuring their children are better off annoyed than dead, parents have opened a new front in the battle to lower teenagers’ accident rates. Using technology employed by truck fleets to monitor drivers, families are spending as much as $2,500 for microcomputers and “black boxes” that feed speed and braking data into a home computer; cockpit video cameras; Global Positioning System devices that track teenagers through their cell phones; and lower-tech surveillance, such as the Tell-My-Mom.com bumper sticker.
There’s no right to privacy when you’re driving, a stepfather says.
In a 26-week trial, the Mayo Clinic put $1,400 cameras in the cars of high school students in Minnesota. “During the trial, students’ near misses, swerves and hard braking that trigger the camera dropped from 24 a week to nearly zero.” Nearly all the students used their seat belts, compared to one third when the trial began.
If a consumer market develops for the technology, the price is expected to go down.