“This is a subject that’s actually really important to me. Probably because I’m a police officer and a Dad,” said Detective Rocco Deperno during a conversation about GPS tracking. As an active detective, Deperno is more than familiar with GPS tracking through his work. Commonly used by law enforcement, GPS tracking is used primarily to track police vehicles as well as suspects in crimes. But what many people don’t know is that GPS trackers are being adopted by parents mainly to make sure their new teen drivers are being safe and responsible. “This is really invaluable technology for a parent,” said Deperno. “What I find so fascinating about GPS tracking is the fact that a parent can get speed or location alerts via e-mail or text message. It’s about staying in the loop. If you’re trusting your child with the car, having a GPS tracker in it is kind of like being in the passenger seat with your new driver- while giving them the freedom they need to grow.” Although Rock’s kids aren’t old enough to drive yet, he still recommends this technology to parents on a regular basis mostly because he encounters teen drivers on the road everyday.
According to statistics, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among teen drivers in the U.S with first year drivers being ten times more likely to crash. Crash risk increases incrementally with each mile per hour over the speed limit a driver does. Whether it’s inexperience or recklessness, GPS tracking can help parents influence their teens’ driving habits even when they’re not physically in the car.
What makes this technology invaluable is the fact that most GPS trackers have geofence capabilities and speed alerts. Geofencing means a parent can outline a specific area that cannot be breached. If a teen drives outside of this area, for example, into a bad area or on a highway they’re not yet ready for, the parent will receive an e-mail or text message alert. The same goes for speeding. If a teen exceeds a preset speed limit determined by the parent, the parent will receive the same e-mail or text alert letting them know the speed limit has been exceeded. The goal of these trackers isn’t to be an overbearing parent, but rather to maintain an open and honest dialogue about safe driving habits.
As previously stated, GPS tracking is commonly used by law enforcement, but has yet to be adopted by the majority of parents. That’s one of the reasons why Detective Rock was so eager to be a part of the most recent commercial about teen tracking. “Every time there’s a tragedy involving a teen driver, when you inform the parents, the common response is: ‘I wish I would have known he was driving like this.’” And to this I always tell parents that GPS tracking is the way you would have known. It’s not about being super involved in your kids life. It’s a way to identify poor driving habits, and change them before it’s too late.”
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