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Tech & Science

New device lets parents monitor P-platers logo 16/05/2018 A Current Affair

A new device is letting parents keep an eye on their kids as they head out on the road.

GPS Gateway and Tom Tom have released the device, which essentially works as a black box for the car.

The TomTom LINK 530 monitors speeding, braking, swerving and other driving habits, and feeds that information back to parents, who can access it via an app.

"Young drivers are massively over-represented in road statistics," GPS Gateway's Jon Butler said.

"They make up around 10-15 percent of all drivers but around 32 percent of all fatalities, so anything we can do to get young drivers to slow down and obey the speed limits is a good thing."

The information is not directed to the police, with the idea being that parents are able to talk with their P-plater about worrying habits.

Teenager Lochie has been driving for six months and is one of the P-platers that uses the device.

"I thought it was extremely clever," he said.

"Sometimes you might feel uncomfortable - it does have the ability to look at everything you're doing, but I think it is better to be truthful and have that truthful relationship with your parents at all times."

Fellow young driver Jack agrees.

The first time he drover with the device in, he says, he found it illuminating.

"I drove around the corner when it first went in and it was interesting to see when it would beep, and tell me when I was braking too harshly, or going too fast," he said.

"You don't realise what you're doing until you get told you're doing it."

His mother Renee said it had given her great peace of mind.

The New South Wales government is also interested in the device, trialling the system with 1000 young drivers and their parents.

Finance Minister Victor Dominello said the device would have the potential to save lives.

"It will train you to drive better," he said.

"Less accidents, better savings on the fuel and hopefully, cheaper premiums."

For more information, visit the GPS Gateway website, or find out more about the New South Wales government’s trial here.

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