A Maryland State Highway Administration program new to Montgomery County this year allows parents to install two DriveCams in their car to monitor teen drivers.
The cameras don't record at all times, merely kicking in when drivers suddenly break, swerve, accelerate quickly or get into collisions. The idea is that parents can view such "events" after the fact and advise their children on how to avoid mistakes in the future.
Or it may be an enabling device for those given to overparenting. Either way, the older generation seems to love it.
"I've found it to be really comforting to know my eyes are always on him," she said. "I don't know if that's why he's driving safely or if it's just the way he is, but it is comforting for parents."
The constant monitoring may or may not be the reason he's driving more safely, but it'll probably also be why he gets 18 tattoos, his lip pierced and joins an anarcho-syndicalist collective at 19.
The program began in Southern Maryland last summer and expanded to Montgomery and Baltimore counties this March when not all the 300 cameras were claimed. Four Montgomery County families are taking part in the program funded by grants from the Maryland State Highway Administration.
Organizers hope the grant will be renewed for the next fiscal year, which begind Oct. 1. According to a SHA Web site, there have been 551 young driver-related fatalities in the state in the past five years.