How to Make Your Teenager Crazy: Track and Record His Driving

Ford MyKey

It’s only a pilot, but 10,000 of GM’s OnStar subscribers will participate in a test program called Family Link. This tracks the exact location of a teen’s car on a map and sends parents text messages and emails concerning its movements and whether it’s speeding.

Ford’s MyKey system (shown above) is worse. It limits speed to 80 mph, adjusts or mutes stereo volume, can block stations and disables Bluetooth for cell-phone use. Parents love it, and so do insurance companies. Did anybody ask the kids?

More intrusive still is the DriveCam, an onboard video recorder that sends clips of “erratic vehicle movements” (plus what happened 10 seconds before and after) to parents via wireless. The insurance companies, e.g., American Family, love this one even more and will pay for its cost and installation, plus discounting your premium.

Everyone knows about the problems with teen driving, but I submit this ain’t the way to solve them. Or build trust in your kids.

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