Georgia bill would track reckless teen drivers

| 3/6/2006

Parents who have children with a history of irresponsible driving could get access to a tool to keep a closer eye on their young drivers.

A bill in the Georgia General Assembly would create a young driver “monitoring service,” allowing the tracking of teens who have committed serious traffic violations.

Sponsored by Jack Murphy, R-Cumming, the measure would create a program that would utilize a cell-phone-enabled global positioning system to give parents real-time locations and speed of drivers 18 years old and younger, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.

Monitoring could be used for young drivers who committed such offenses including: hit and run; leaving the scene of an accident; fleeing an officer with a vehicle; driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drug possession in a vehicle. Speeding violations would be exempted.

The bill would also create a “How’s my driving?” placard for affected drivers. The placard would display a toll-free phone number and identification number to allow the public to report “inappropriate driving practices.”

The monitoring service then would notify parents about any inappropriate driving practices.

A judge would be required to recommend the program before parents could sign their child up for it, the Banner-Herald reported.

Parents would fund the program through rental fees. A placard would cost between $6 and $15 a month. The GPS would run between $10 and $20 a month.

Parents could choose one or both of the methods for tracking their child.

“I think this is going to make them more aware of their driving habits,” Murphy told the Banner-Herald. “If this can save lives, then I think we should do it.”

Murphy’s bill – HB1069 – passed the House Transportation Committee early last month. It was sent to the full House only to be rerouted to the House Rules Committee.