Teen Watch LogoThe Austin City Council recently passed a law that on January 1st the Austin Cellphone Law will go into effect. This means that drivers will not be allowed to hold a phone while driving. You will have to use a hands-free device to be in compliance. But as drivers, we notice all types of bad driving habits done by adult and teens.

Ujima had the opportunity to meet Gaye Jones, who owns and operates Teen Watch Alert, because of her passion for children and the elderly. She launched this company last month, September, after leaving her cooperate job with Dell. Let’s learn more about Teen Watch Alert and how it may benefit you and your family.

Teen watch moving carsUjima:
How did you become involved with Teen Watch Alert?

Gaye:
I worked in the corporate world for over 30 plus years. I left my job in July of last year and felt I was too young to retire so I thought about what was next for me. I knew my passion was kids and the elderly. I was a single mom who raised two children. One is 20 and the other is 23 years old now. After meditating and relying on my small town raising of “it takes a village to raise a child”, I decided to help young people stay safe while driving. I remind people that the number one killer of young people are automobile accidents. I wanted to help prevent more deaths.

Ujima:
What are the key services provided by Teen Watch Alert?

Gaye:
There are decals that are placed on the rear bumper of your car. Any concern citizen that witness your teen driver doing something inappropriate while behind the wheel can call the number on the bumper sticker and the parent will be contacted. They can then handle the situation from that point. The other good thing about this system is if your teen driver has a flat tire and does not have their cellphone, a citizen can call the number on the bumper decal and the parents will be notified. So there is a real safety component to having this service. My own son forgot his phone recently and had car problems. The bumper sticker is a positive reinforcement vs. a negative thing.    teen watch decal

Ujima:
So, is the inappropriate behavior based on the city traffic laws?

Gaye:
No, it is not directly based on the law, it is based on any inappropriate behavior that a concern citizen may have about the teens driving.

Ujima:
Does the call go directly to the parent or a call center?

Gaye:
The calls do not go directly to the parent. That would cause issues with bullying and false reports. There is a live operator that takes the report and then sends the report to the parent with the details. One of the difference in our services vs. another company is we don’t use a automated system that informs the parent. We use a live operator to reach the parents.

Teen watch dadUjima:
What type of feedback have you received from parents?

Gaye:
Most love it. There are some concerns about predators following their teen driver because of the decal on the bumper. I reinforce that we can’t stop all types of situations but it could be safer because a concern person will see the decal and can call to help the driver. The other concern expressed was there is technology now with the GPS system. I point out that GPS does not work for all cars, GPS can be hacked. It comes down to the decal vs. technology and there is no 100% proof on anything.

Ujima:
What should our readers understand about the Teen Watch Alert System?

Gaye:
I want to remind people that the number one cause of death among teens in the US every year is automobile accidents. There are many ways teen drives can be distracted by their phone, four to five kids in the car and more. Accidents are getting greater each day. I educate parents on things they don’t know. When they turn the keys over to their young driver, they need to make sure their teen is ready to drive. Teen Watch Alert offers a tool to help parents understand what they don’t know and provide a back up for safety.

teen watch young girlUjima:
Who are you looking to reach with your product?

Gaye:
I’m all over the place trying to get the word out. But I feel I need to reach the parents directly. I would also like to speak with driving schools, school principals, and insurance companies. But any parents interested in learning more is my target customer.

For more information about Teen Watch Alert, visit their website at http://www.teenwatchalert.com or call Gaye Jones at 512-426-2649.

#teenwatchalert, #gayejones, #drivingsafety, #beingawareoftrafficsafety, #ujimamagazine, #parents

Damita Miller-Shanklin