Electronic Devices Allow Option For Parents To Track Kids

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UPDATED: Monday November 11, 2013 11:49 PM

When your children leave the house, do you always know where they going?

For parents with questions in their minds, there's plenty of technology around that can help you keep track of them.

10TV took a look at some of the electronic monitors - including one for youthful drivers - available to families today.

Auto accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers 15 to 19 years old. It's a statistic that would concern any parent with a teen driver in the house.

Sixteen-year-old Jordan Price has been driving for only a month. Like all rookie drivers, she has a lot to learn, but there's a silent observer called Drive Cam in the car every time she gets behind the wheel.

“It definitely makes you more conscious of how you’re driving,” says Price.

Here's how the technology works. There's a little device on the rear view mirror. It has a camera that shoots outside and inside the car. Anytime there's any erratic movement - hard cornering, hard braking, speeding - the device gets triggered.

“What happens is the camera gets a few seconds before the incident and a few seconds during the incident. The video is wirelessly sent to a professional driving coach for analysis. He emails mom and dad a report card and a copy of the tape,” said Ty Kashmiry, American Family Insurance agent.

American Family Insurance offers the program free to families that have policies with the company. Its studies show that after a few weeks of driving, risky driving drops by 70 percent and there’s 100 percent seat belt usage.

“You’re nervous to let them go out by themselves. But at least with the camera there, they have a feeling we’re still watching and it gives us comfort to know they’re doing the right things,” said Tracy Price, Jordan’s mother.

Drive Cam is not a GPS device. It doesn’t track your child’s movements. But there are plenty of devices that do that - not only for teen drivers, but also kids too young to drive.

The Amber Alert GPS lets you track your child’s whereabouts on your smartphone sending emails and texts if they go beyond a predetermined area. It costs $100.

There’s Pocketfinder, a GPS device that will let you know when your child is driving above the speed limit. You can link it to your smartphone. It costs $150, plus a $13 monthly service fee.

Securus eZoom can go inside your child’s backpack or be mounted in the car to track them. It’s $100.

And, there’s an app called GPS Location Tracker. For just $4, it lets you track your child’s movement on your mobile phone including previous travel.

All of them, including Drive Cam, are designed to give parents options on knowing where their kids are. But what about those prickly questions of privacy that surface when technology clashes with personal freedom?

Jordan Price’s mom says, “We just said, you’re doing this. There really wasn’t a question. Driving is a privilege.”

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