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back to article Tiwi spies on your children, so you don't have to

A new device called the Tiwi offers to spy on your children's driving by reporting their speed, manoeuvring, acceleration and even if they're wearing seatbelts, so the little blighters will be too scared to move by the time they're 18. Unlike competing offerings, which just tell you where your children are, the Tiwi focuses on …

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Pirate

Better idea

Don't let the little shits borrow your car in the first place. If they want to endanger themselves & others, make them buy their own car instead.

If they've had to save up for their own car they might treat it with a bit more respect.

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Black Helicopters

Hasn't this sort of thing

already been banned under EU Human Rights for use over here?

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Yes....

I can see it now, lil Johnny pulls up to the traffic lights, revs the engine.... light turns green and he's off, hurtling down the road at a massive 30mph! The software phones home and worried mother phones her son.

However, her son is driving a car, and now getting a major ear bashing from his mother he is unable to concentrate properly on the road and doesn't see the tank coming the other way.

The last thing the mother hears before poor Johnny is crushed under the tracks of a tank is "but I'm not spee...."

Speed doesn't kill, mothers kill - and tanks.

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Stop

"Oh, I'm sorry daddy"

"The little box just HAPPENED to be gravely damaged by a non-specific accident that only affected that part of the car and caused no other damage, and I'm sure it does look like someone cut the wires and cracked the main board, but that's entirely natural damage I assure you."

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RE: Hasn't this sort of thing already been banned under EU Human Rights for use over here?

Hopefully. God I feel for kids these days, I was nervous enough when I first started driving on my own many a moon ago. I'd have been a wreck knowing my parents were monitoring my every move.

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Ash
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Another better idea

Vehicle impounded for dangerous driving and speeding offences under the age of 21.

Catch them the right way, but punish them properly.

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Paris Hilton

One wonders

how difficult it would be to link it to a tesla coil mounted in the seat. Just to keep em awake y'understand.

Paris cos I'm sure she knows all about tesla coils, well probably just the coils bit.

Efros

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Unhappy

"part driving instructor, part mentor, part guardian angel"

Surely that's the role of a 'responsible parent'.

If you can't trust your kid with your car (or any car) without the use of this then you've probably not excelled as a parent then.

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Silver badge
IT Angle

Why just the kids?

If the parents reckon they are so good at driving then the whole family should have the devices fitted. Let's see dad explain his drive back from the pub.

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Linux

Other side of the coin

A Deputy in one of the southern states had this sort of device hooked up to his sons car when his son was nicked for speeding. He checked the records and took the fine to court. They won as the logs which are not perfect did state for the boy to have hit the speed that he was supposedly clocked at he would have had to have been using a high performance sports car, not a station-wagon(estate).

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Silver badge

18 != Child

At 18 years old you are an adult. If any parent feels the need to have such a device for an eighteen year old then the child has probably been brought up in such a protected environment that it can't cope with the real world. Any parent wanting to install this should be locked up.

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Go

An engineering solution

Shouldn't be too hard to take the thing to Santa Pod on RWYB day, Roll 1 d6 + CHR for persuade check and hook it into the cig lighter of someone's 1100bhp dyno queen and see what the parents make of their little snowflakes Nova 1.2 merit reportedly running a <10 second quarter mile...

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Stop

Driving at 17?

Can't you still start driving cars on the road at 17? I had my license then. A pointless piece of kit, Let them buy a an old banger for 50 quid and if they crash it they can buy another one.

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Chris W is correct

By the time you are 18, you are trusted to get married, start a business, go bankrupt and get a divorce because the missus doensn't want to live with someone who can't keep a business running. But you aren't trusted to be able to drive.

If your parents want to keep tabs on you at that age, to that degree, then your best option is to tell them to give you the £300/$500ish, put it towards a deposit on a room/studio flat and move the fuck out, sharpish.

What next? Wrist moniters so that your parents know how many times a day you are making Baby Jesus cry?

[although I suppose it would be a good reason to get a woman, eh?]

Steven R

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Anonymous Coward

FFS

Young drivers take risks. They will always take risks, and indeed NEED to take risks, as the experience gained by skidding round on whatever supermarket car park will put them in good stead for the rest of their driving career.

/mildly facetious

Anyway, when will people realise that over-regulated slow drivers == bored drivers == unattentive drivers == dangerous drivers. Thats why HGV accidents increased sharply upon the introduction of the 56mph electronic governor, as truckers now have nothing to do other than keep their lorry *roughly* within a lane for hours on end.

Its actually proven that the safest drivers on the road are the ones who travel faster than 85% of everyone, with the very fastest drivers (the top 10%) becoming rather more dangerous.

/anonymous regular 100mph high-mileage motorist, anon to prevent my house being burned down by the "OMG SPEEDING" nobheads

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Happy

RE:Another better idea

Why treat them diffrently than someone over 21?

Also, there are already restrictions for anyone who has held a licence for less than two years.

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Happy

ha ha ha ha

I can see the finger my 16-yr old sprog-ette is holding up now!

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Re: 18 != Child

"At 18 years old you are an adult"

Yeah, but don't forget, in some states, you can get a licence at 17, 16, possibly even 15.

Still fairly pointless though.

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Soon you will need to be 18 to do anything

except have children. Because that's easy.

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So how long before

How long before these things are in everyones cars 'for our comfort and safety' and every time you hit 71mph it automatically prints out a speeding ticket for you?

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Insurance co bent

Tiwi is not looking to parents like they say they are, the real angle will be insurance cos. which will require them if they think they can make the sheeple go along with it.

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Taking the fun out of the game?

How are you supposed to learn what a car does when it's pushed to the limits if you never push it? Then that day comes when you have to swerve to avoid something, and since you've got no idea what under steer is like, you panic and spin. Or when you've got to stop fast, the ABS goes off and scares you, and you panic and pull your foot off the brake.

If you're afraid that your own car will report your slightly aggressive cornering, how are you supposed to learn what your car is capable of?

In Southern California I've noticed that the worst drivers are typically the completely non-aggressive ones, since it takes some balls to change lanes on a crowded freeway, and those without balls tend to get pretty frantic if they can't get over a lane. Then of course you've got the ridiculously aggressive drivers that'll change 3 lanes through a series of gaps which are each a bit smaller than their own car, but there's really no curing them.

This box thing just increases fear on the road, which is completely the wrong thing to do.

Now if we could get a box for SoCal that'd shock someone when they rolled through a stop sign or right on red, or if they didn't signal, I might be interested. Too many times have I almost been murdered by someone that decides a stop sign means they should tap their brakes to slow from 50mph to 45mph in a 30mph zone. People aren't even pretending to stop these days. Unless there's a cop present, of course.

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Stop

From the Department of Evidence-free Proofs...

"Its actually proven that the safest drivers on the road are the ones who travel faster than 85% of everyone, with the very fastest drivers (the top 10%) becoming rather more dangerous."

Got a citation for that? And I mean from a real, peer-reviewed journal: quotes from nob-ends like Clarkson don't count ;-) Or is it just yet more crap spewed by another member of the "*I'm* a safe driver, it's *other* road users that are the problem" brigade?

(full disclosure: I have also been known to drive *significantly* faster than the legal speed limit in some circumstances. But I don't kid myself that it's any safer...)

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Silver badge

Ah, to drive when nobody (significant) is looking...

We here in sillycon valley have this freeway numbered "85". Many assume it is the speed limit. Unfortunately those with "gold stars" don't have such inclination. Tis a shame.

Life would be quite interesting if vehicles were equipped with a limiter that would not allow the vehicle to go over the limit (enforcement vehicles included). Would be interesting.

Life goes on. Oh, to have the 365 ('62 Cabroliet!) back to drive (*SIGH*).

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Paris Hilton

@ S Raith

Surely a wrist mounted accelerometer could be used for monitoring other bad habits of teenage boys?

Paris for obvious reasons...

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In my opinion ...

... small vehicles are the answer, not spying. The box itself would be like a distraction, like another consideration before each decision. I already feel that way about Gatsos and the 30mph limit sometimes; just as you reach the relatively dangerous stretch, where the powers that be decided a camera was particularly essential, you can bet more than half the drivers you can see are looking at their speedometers, not the road.

Having said that, if people would just grow up and drive like they were going somewhere rather than playing with big expensive toys then maybe the over-regulation wouldn't seem necessary.

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Bronze badge

@By Herby

err its not just 85 last Sunday I was driving up 101 doing 75 and people were pissed. I'm not even in the fast lane.

But here is a story for you. When I was 16 learning to drive , I had a sheriff pull up behind me . Being a new drive I made sure that I was doing the speed limit. THis pissed the cop off. How can you except people to drive the speed limit when cops dont.

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Go

@Jon Kale

You know, I suspected someone would take issue with my assertion, and I agree that Clarkson quotes don't count, so here you are;

http://www.sha.state.md.us/safety/oots/trafficsignalsandlaws/speedlimits2.asp

http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/speed/speed.htm

*from site campaigning for higher speed limits* http://www.safespeed.org.uk/speedlimits.html

*please note my previous comments apply mainly to motorways (and similar fast dual-carriageways) and are not applicable to urban streets*

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Journal review club anyone?

AC ripostes to Jon Kale with three references. I've had a quick look at the middle one http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/speed/speed.htm. It is quite a long review of published studies. The summary states, among other things: "When the consequences of crashes are taken into account, the risk of being involved in an injury crash is lowest for vehicles that travel near the median speed or slower and increases exponentially for motorists traveling much faster". I do not see support here for "Its actually proven that the safest drivers on the road are the ones who travel faster than 85% of everyone" as posted by AC.

Perhaps others would like to check my reading of the document and the two that I've not yet looked at...

I would however agree that the good old Yerkes-Dodson Law probably does apply well to driving tasks and concentration (arousal) will fade and performance fall if the task becomes too lacking in challenge. That's just a subjective opinion cloaked in jargon, mind...

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Faster Limits but...

I agree totally with faster speed limits on the UK roads, but there are not enough lanes. Stupid fuc*ers will always not want to get out of the way.

I think a relaxing of the enforcement would be better suited, as this would [intend to] allow people to cut down on journey time, drive to the ability of their car, and [hopefully] stay awake at the wheel on long journeys by providing for a much more tactile and interesting driving experience than the usual humdrum shite.

UK roads are shit now, and its only going to get worse. I agree that boy racers should get fucked off [girls racers too], but if you can drive safely at speed, why should you be punished/restricted.

Only going to get worse...

</pessimism>

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Coat

This is meant for the US market...

...where our kiddies can start driving on their own on their 16th birthday (if they pass their road test on that date -- my son did). You can get an instruction permit at 15 (similar to a provisional license) -- the neat thing about it in California is if you get one for a bike then there's no capacity limitations (my daughter started at 15 on an old 500 MotoGuzzi but then appropriated my SV650)(that was years ago, she's got something a bit quicker now).

The kids have restrictions on their license which are gradually removed over time. They can easily get their license suspended (one way is a call to the DMV from their parents -- no questions asked). Parents are expected to play an active role in teaching their kids how to drive...and not just how to get through the road test.

You don't like to teach young people to drive in the UK. I think the way things are going its practically impossible to get a bike license there now -- something dumb about crash stops being at 50Km/hr which is 31mph so technically speeding on urban streets. Enjoy your cameras...

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@AC -- more peer reviewing!

Did you actually bother to read the reference you posted: http://www.tfhrc.gov/safety/speed/speed.htm

"Without vehicles slowing to turn, or turning across traffic, the investigators found the risk of traveling much slower than average was much less pronounced." -- ie, it's not that slower drivers are inherently prone to crash more, it's that drivers are prone to crash more frequently when they are turning (and hence slowing down). The faster cars however crash because ... well, speed increases the risk of crashes.

"[other] researchers found a trend of increasing crash involvement for speeds above the mean speed in both rural and urban conditions - similar to the correlations reported in the early studies. However, no relationship between slower speeds and increased crash involvement was found."

Furthermore, the "U curve" was only found when limiting data to crashes between vehicles travelling in the same direction, yet "By far, the predominant crash type on rural roads is a single vehicle running off the road"

All of this pales however into insignificance compared to things like drink driving and running red lights -- something the USA is ridiculously tolerant of. I suspect that this is the primary reason you are more than twice as likely to die on the roads in the USA than the UK.

Speed limits are (like everything in life part) of a cost/benefit equation. The USA has decided to plot their data point significantly farther up the curve than the UK -- which happens to have the 2nd lowest rate of road fatalities in the OECD. Now stop whining be thankful you don't share the road with 14 year old drunk Americans.

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Go

Since Clarkson has been mentioned...

He made an interesting point in an article a number of years ago, broadly to the effect that road safety would be improved if seat belts were banned outright. Furthermore, the airbags should be removed as well and a substantial razor sharp steel spike should be installed on the steering wheel.

The safer you feel, the more risks you take. It's a well known principle but it does cut both ways.

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Lots of comments about ages of 17/18

But can't you drive from 14 in the States (where this thing was invented?)

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Alert

This will be of no use in the UK..

As no kiddy can afford to go hooning around due to the cost of fuel.

Expect press releases shortly on how these high fuel prices are really a goood thing, as they cut down on dangerous driving and public disorder offences...

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Cop drivers

I was a passenger on a daytime motorway ride recently. Minding our own business on the inside lane around 80, a T5 (police volvo with lots of aerials and computers) didn't have it's flashing lights on (which I thought they HAD to if they're responding to a callout, whether there's heavy traffic or not) and it must have been doing more than 90! My driving instructor taught me that unless you doing more than 80 you'll probably be left alone, though that was 6 years ago.

I know my limits as a driver, and when I owned a car I knew the guy I bought it off (and had driven it a good few times) so had a good idea of it's limits. Most people seem to do 75/80 on the motorway anyway, which if you know how to handle it seems fine. Wreckless driving I ain't got time for though, whoever's doing it.

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Flame

@AC, spike in steering wheel etc etc

Jesus, its a visit from the oldest road safety fallacy in the world.

Making cars/roads incredibly dangerous to make people drive slower DOESN'T F*CKING WORK.

It's the same as trying to sort out your finances by earning less, because then 'you'll have to spend less'. It's utter nonsense.

The VAST majority of accidents are just that, accidents, NOT people driving round going "hey, I've got airbags, I'll drive at 130mph into this wall".

Putting spikes onto steering wheels or even removing the current safety features will only kill many hundreds of thousands of people involved in minor accidents. We have airbags, seatbelts etc because they DO work. The accident rate (and injury/death rate) in all developed countries has been dropping significantly over the last 50 years, both in absolute terms and even more so per vehicle mile, incredible considering the increasing density of traffic and the vastly increased speeds both achievable by modern vehicles, and the fact that drivers today spend more time driving, and driving faster than ever before.

When the M1 first opened (without any speed limit BTW) the 'average' family car would struggle to achieve 70mph. To do 100mph you would need a 'fast car'. Today the average hatchback can happily do 120mph all day, and LOTS of people do (over) 100mph every single day. Road accidents have still been dropping dramatically.

This is because (generally) we have had sensible policies of making our cars and roads SAFER (including where that enables higher speeds); country lanes have been replaced with motorways, third lanes have been removed, hazards have been signed, airbags fitted etc.

DO NOT try to f*ck up this good trend up by assuming that every accident is caused by some evil driver behaving recklessly. It's not any more true of road accidents than it is of workplace accidents, home accidents or anything else. By your logic, machine guards n factories should be replaced with lethal electric fences, because then workers will be REALLY careful about not touching the machine! It's absolute nonsense.

If you want a good read, get hold of "Road Accidents - Prevent Or Punish" by JJ Leeming.

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Joke

I cannot BELIEVE...

...anyone would bite at the 'steel spike' post!

RIP irony ;)

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Alert

No money =(

Being young myself (lucky me) I agree with Mr Drew Wyatt.

Parents can fit one of these to my car all they like - I can't afford to drive the thing anymore anyway!

Then add the £2000 insurance for my little 1.6 engine. =(

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Coat

Irony?

Isn't that just like goldy and bronzy, only made out of iron?

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When I have kids...

I'm going to introduce my kids to other kids whose parents installed monitors like this in their cars.

That way I'll look better as a parent because I don't treat them like unconvicted criminals waiting to happen.

I'd love to see what happened if they managed to pull off someone's earlier suggestion of putting these on the parents' cars... I bet you'd find at least as many 'offences' or more than in those of newly-qualified drivers.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Irony?

>Isn't that just like goldy and bronzy, only made out of iron?

I believe it's customary to give credit where credit is due, in this case to Baldrick. Unless you are Baldrick and Mister Cheese is a cryptic reference to his mouse trap.

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Alien

Knight Rider Satnav????

.....(What do you think you're doing, Dave?)

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Gates Halo

Simple

if little Johnny or Joan is caught speeding, they should be forced to drive a vehicle with the top speed and aceleration of a milk float (a milk float would be perfect) for two years, that'd stop them.

@Michael think you are confusing K.I.T.T. with HAL

the ideal solution would be to have K.I.T.T. onboard that could take over if they were speeding.

C'mon Bill, you've got plenty of time on your hands now, errr maybe that isn't such a good idea as we dont want a BSOD at 70 m.p.h. :)

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