In view of bad driving issues in Florida, two lawmakers from the Sunshine State have been trying to enable parents to better monitor their teenagers while they are driving. And recently, they have proposed a legislative act that could allow parents to make use of technology to better keep track of their teenage drivers.
Florida Senator Greg Evers and Representative Richard Steinberg are sponsoring a bill that will equip parents of driving teenagers with an electronic notification system that will alert them in instances of traffic violations, car accidents, or license suspensions. Accordingly, this system automatically informs parents through email or short message service (SMS) in case a teenage driver has been given a ticket or has been reported to have been involved in a traffic incident. The lawmakers’ proposal is set to be considered for deliberation in the 2012 legislative session of Florida.
This idea of making it a state policy to better inform parents of teenage drivers is roughly based on a similar program that is already in place in New York.
Senator Greg Evers says that he is sponsoring the legislation in support of the parents’ right to know what is happening with their children’s driving records especially when their auto insurance expenses rise on account of an infraction or traffic violation they are unaware of.
Having a teenage driver included in a car insurance policy significantly raises insurance premium so parents deserve to be better informed. A teen driver can mean a fifty to a hundred percent increase in insurance expenses based in Insurance Information Institute statistics.
On the other hand, Florida Representative Richard Steinberg says that parents should be given the option to choose to be alerted when their children have an event added to their driving records. The proposed legislative act is touted to promote safe driving since it is a well known fact that minors tend to be more careful when they know that their parents are bound to immediately be informed about any traffic violations they would be getting involved with. The said legislation, consequently, will also be of benefit to passengers and others who share roads with teenage drivers.
The measure being sponsored by Senator Evers is Senate Bill 854 while the House counterpart being sponsored by Representative Steinberg is House Bill 571.
The State of New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles operates the Teen Electronic Event Notification Service (TEENS). It is a free and non-compulsory government initiated program that sends alerts to parents of under-18 drivers for tickets, violations of traffic laws, suspensions or confiscations of driver’s licenses, and traffic accidents involving teen drivers. Partly similar to the proposed Florida measure, notifications are made through regular mail or email.
Since the program is specifically aimed at teen drivers, a parent’s enrollment to the TEENS program is automatically discontinued as a teen driver turns 18.
Statistics from the Insurance Information Institute show that drivers who are 15 to 20 years old accounted for approximately 11 percent of fatal crashes in 2009. Furthermore, some 14 percent of all car crash incidents were identified to be drivers under the same age bracket.