Safety Net Or ‘Invasion Of Privacy’? AAA Debuts Tracking System For Teen Drivers

SAN DIEGO (CBS) — Having trouble keeping track of your kid?

KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle reports on a new device that allows parents to follow their teenagers’ every move when they get behind the wheel.

The Automobile Club of Southern California is offering the “AAA Onboard” pilot program to drivers with a teenager covered under any auto insurance policy with AAA.

The device — which is about the size of a printer cartridge and plugs in just below the steering wheel — works much like a global positioning system and can transmit information on the vehicle’s location.

But product expert Cletus Nunes said the system can do much more than just keep track of the car.

“It’s about also setting some speed alerts, boundaries and curfew alerts, and other key features that will allow you to have a conversation with your teen about safety,” said Nunes.

Parents will be able to view their teen’s vehicle trip history and adjust driving parameters for their teen based on whether they plan on driving on surface streets or freeway routes — and even allow for customizable curfew alerts on the weekends.

If any of the preset restrictions are violated, parents are notified with a series of text messaging alerts.

One parent said she was sympathetic to possible resistance to the device from teenagers.

“If I were a kid, especially a teenager, I would really think that’s a bad idea, invasion of privacy, whatever,” she said. “But as a parent, I think it’s great.”

Nunes said AAA is offering the device in an effort to reduce the number of accidents and save money for both policyholders and the company. Customers could even become eligible for future discounts by installing the device into any vehicle driven by a teenager.

The device will not be available for purchase by customers covered by any other insurer.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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