Cameras In Cars - Program Expands To Three States

By: Paige Lambrecht
By: Paige Lambrecht

Lindsay Richardson is never truly alone at the wheel. There's always an eye on her.

"I don't think it's a pain. I kind of forget it's there."

Perched above her rearview mirror is a DriveCam. Any sudden turns or stops activate the camera.

Every week Lindsay's parents get an email with video showing what triggered the camera to record.

"In the end it's made me a better driver, but it's not a hassle or anything."

"It records ten seconds before and ten seconds after," says Patrick Clancy, another Edgewood high school student taking part in the Teen Safe Driver Program.

"It just makes you more conscious of what's going on around when you're driving."

The pilot program at Edgewood was so successful, American Family Insurance is now making it available to all its customers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Indiana.

"Well, we have a total of about 30,000 potential young drivers in those three states," says Jack Salzwedel, American Family's president.

Salzwedel explains that the camera records what happens both inside and outside the car.

"So if it's a sudden stop they can look and see did the child need to stop because a car stopped quickly or were they not paying attention because of the radio or a cell phone?"

And the DriveCam may one day drive down rates.

"We're not ready yet to say there's a correlation where we can put a discount on someone who puts this on their vehicle but long term that's what we want to try and find out."

The cameras are only free to families for the first year.
But Patrick and Lindsay say once the cameras are gone, their good driving habits will stick around.

"As it turns out it seems like it was a good idea cause it's made me a better driver," says Patrick.

"I think I'll be more aware of everything. I'll always think it's there even if it's not," adds Lindsay.

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