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Device tracks teen drivers

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August 31, 2004
by Lisa Carberg

Teenage drivers are notorious for driving fast and getting in lots of accidents.

 Augusta Shaffer is 17 and she's learning to drive. Today’s lesson is another step toward getting her license. She can't wait to finally hit the road - on her own.

 "I don't like to drive with my friends a lot, not really, unless they've been driving for a while, because they kinda make me nervous."

In fact, half of all teens have a crash in their first 6 months on the road, and teen drivers have the highest rate of fatal crashes when compared to other groups.

 "The number one reason a teen dies is car accidents, in fact every hour someone dies because of a teen's crash," says Rob Berry, of Teen Arrive Alive.

Berry shows us his answer to the problem. A bumper sticker for teenager's cars - asking "Am I Driving Safely?" his company, "Teen Arrive Alive" allows parents to keep track of young drivers.

Their brochure asks "Which one of these teens will die in an accident today?"

They hope none- if drivers phone in and "report" dangerous teens on the road. "The parent then receives a report, either by a way file, computerized or via cell phone and they actually hear the report, and then counsels the teen about their driving," Berry says.

Relying on other drivers isn't the only way to keep tabs. Teen Arrive Alive also lets you track where they are at all times and how fast they're driving. Through the teen's GPS enabled cell phone - this is what parents see on their computer - the blue dots are the routes being traveled - and it's updated every two minutes.

Teens may not like the idea - but some see it as another parenting tool. "The teenager is given the privilege of the cell phone and the parents pay for the cell phone and what they want in exchange is to have the ability to run this program so they can feel reassured that the teenager's safe," says Frank Shroth, of Ulocate. 

posted at 10:55AM by dave.miller@walb.com