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Mom’s in Back Seat will monitor teen driving

by Christina Nelson

Teen-agers get their first taste of freedom with a drivers license. A new business in Minden will make sure that freedom doesn’t go too far and lead to a dangerous situation.

Started by Johnson Lane resident Cathy Rahe, the business, Mom’s in the Back Seat, is a monitoring service that allows people to report on teen-agers’ driving skills.

It’s not surprising that she describes her business’ motto as, “Drive as if mom were in the back seat.”

If someone pays for the service, they attach a bumper sticker to their teen-ager’s car that reads, “How’s my teen driving?” with a toll-free number below.

If someone sees a car with this sticker on it driving erratically, the witness can call the number and get Rahe on the line.

Rahe will then take a report and call the teen-ager’s parents – who can then take action any way they see fit. Whoever calls the number will be anonymous.

“It makes me feel a little bit better about letting my kids go out there and drive,” Rahe said. She is a mother of four boys – the oldest is 14 – and is apprehensive about letting them drive in the next couple of years.

Rahe has been collecting statistics about teen drivers and plans to compile data on the effectiveness of her program once it gets going for a while.

Though she’s all set to start her business, she’s still waiting for the brochures before she opens her doors. She already has one customer lined up and plans to serve customers in Carson Valley and Carson City.

Once everything is running smoothly, Rahe wants to work with court officials to get her program to be a juvenile probation requirement, especially for teen-agers who have received too many traffic violation tickets.

Being a mother herself, Rahe has been worried about letting her sons drive for quite a while. She found an answer to her worries while watching late night television.

n Watch dog. “I originally saw it on late night news,” said Rahe. “It’s basically just a watch dog,”

A local news station aired a segment on a similar program started by a woman in Sacramento. Rahe started calling around and decided to start a program of her own.

Rahe was hoping to get the DMV to pass out her brochures when teen-agers get their learners’ permits.

“We do different state programs that are a public service, but we wouldn’t do any private sector programs,” said Kim Evans of the DMV.

She said the only program she’s heard of similar to Rahe’s in Nevada is in Las Vegas.

The initial sign-up fee for Rahe’s program is $17.95 and includes the bumper sticker. The service costs an additional $4.95 per month.

For information on Mom’s in the Back Seat, call 267-3675.