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Speedy teens, meet your text messaging foe

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  April 2, 2009 11:36 AM

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Like our own John Paul did with a plug-in mileage cost computer, the Globe's Hiawatha Bray tested another OBD accessory this week - a snitching little black box that sends discreet text messages to parents if a young driver exceeds speed limits. It's so smart that it recognizes highways and major thoroughfares from residential back roads, and if turned off, sends another tattletale to mom and dad.

While certain cars come standard with programmable speed limiters and there's no shortage of GPS tracking devices out there - remember the short-lived Disney cell phone? - there's nothing quite like 20-year-old Jonathan Fischer's Speed Demon.

Fischer, of Lunenberg, Mass., started the project when he was 16 after a local teen died in a high-speed crash, and has since won awards and thousands of dollars to pursue his dreams of entrepreneurship - and to help parents and their new drivers feel safer.

The Speed Demon costs $250 plus $15 per month for unlimited texts and precise mapping of each incident via his website, Bray wrote an enthusiastic review, and was indeed annoyed by the alerts as he sped to meet Fischer "before he was old enough to buy beer."

Read more about the Speed Demon and other fun gadgets in Bray's tech lab column.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee
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