Undercover evaluations provides insight on teen driving - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Undercover evaluations provide insight on teen driving

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Dan Dennis, a retired police officer, performs an undercover evaluation. Dan Dennis, a retired police officer, performs an undercover evaluation.

For about $100, you can hire an off-duty or retired officer to tail your teenager and provide a written report on his or her driving.

Quest Driving Safety is a new company started by a Gary Lawrence, a former police detective from California.

"I've personally been to hundreds of scenes [and] hundreds of traffic collisions," said Lawrence.

Since many of those accidents involved teenagers, Lawrence decided to start a company to offer an undercover review of teens' driving skills.

"We're a nationwide driving evaluation service. We're secret shoppers for road safety," Lawrence explained.

Parents who are interested in the services can go online and enter information about their teenager's vehicle, his or her description and where the teen normally drives. Quest Driving Safety then contacts an off-duty or retired officer from their network of officers and will set up a time to perform the evaluation.

CBS 5 News rode along with Dan Dennis, a retired San Diego Police Department detective who now lives in the Valley, during one of their evaluations.

"We're looking for a black Jeep," Dennis said.

Dennis also was searching for 17-year-old Travis Saunders. His father, Doug, contacted Quest Driving Safety and provided them the information needed for the tail.

"This is to better help his parents evaluate his driving habits," Dennis said.

Dennis followed Saunders for about 15 to 20 minutes as he left his mother's home and traveled to his father's house. Though there were some minor moving violations, Dennis said Travis passed the undercover evaluation.

Quest Driving Safety teen evaluations cost $99. The company provides a written report of the evaluation and a report card-style grade of the teenager's driving ability.

The service can also be purchased to evaluate elderly drivers and commercial fleet employees.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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