Local News

GPS May Help Reduce Number Of Teen-Related Accidents

Posted December 11, 2004 12:45 p.m. EST

— The accidents that took the lives of Triangle teenagers

Jaimee Kellermann


Briana Rawls

involved young drivers, speed and other kids in the car. Now, there is hope that similar accidents do not happen again.

Officials are looking at a program called

Teen Arrive Alive

. In the program, a teenager takes a cell phone equipped with a global positioning system with him or her in the car. If he or she is in a speeding car, parents or loved ones will know about it.

Those enrolled in the program can log on to a computer, find out where their teen is and how fast he or she is going. Parent Jill Dillon likes the idea. Her teenage son already got a speeding ticket.

"We could discuss these issues when he gets home, possibly take keys, take the car and prevent him from getting into an accident and hurting other people," she said.

Doug Robertson, who heads the Highway Safety Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, thinks the concept has merit because it involves parents.

"What we are talking about here is technology to extend supervision," he said.

However, Nickolas O'Keefe thinks the tracking system is intrusive. His parents already will not let him drive with his friends.

"I can understand from a parent's point of view. From a teen, you just want to be, like, free and on your own and not have a parent look after you all the time," O'Keefe said.

Another part of the program includes bumper stickers, which read "How's my driving?"