Parenting

'Where's My Kid' App Sends Speeding Alerts to Parents

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson visits with Transportation Security Administration employees at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Nov. 24, 2014. (Official DHS photo by Barry Bahler)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WF3WZ05f9Cs

I got my first speeding ticket at age 16 for driving 83 mph in a 65-mph zone, and my second at age 17 on the Fourth of July for driving 66 mph in a 55-mph zone. Both were soul-crushing.

I skulked by with warnings for the next 12 years, but I wonder whether I would have earned any tickets at all had my parents been in possession of an app like this one.

Among its several features, the “Where’s My Kid” app gives a parent the ability to “get moving car alerts,” as well as to “receive car speeding alerts.” You can also “find your kid’s location,” “find dead battery device location,” “encourage communication,” and “ensure your kids’ stay safe.”

Granting that some of its purported virtues seem valuable–does this officially digitize helicopter parenting? What do our free-rangers think of this? And does receiving alerts involuntarily transmitted from your child’s phone to yours really count as “encouraging communication”? [Related on PJ Parenting: Does This Video Help or Hurt the Free Range Parenting Argument?]

Jury is out for me, as I recently regressed into learning lessons on the road the hard way. (Here are 7 Lessons I Learned Watching People Ahead of Me in Court.) Somehow I don’t think the app would have stopped me, but I’ll never know.