This week, readers will be giving their tuppence worth on this page. I have had some correspondence in relation to the problem featured in this column in the edition of Irish Country Living dated 23 October.

In her letter, Ulster Mother outlined how her teenage son had recently passed his driving test. Subsequently he was driving on his own, but was driving too fast and was often gone in her car.

Here is some advice and further thoughts on the topic from two readers:


Dear Miriam,

I was reading the letter in the edition of Irish Country Living dated 23 October, and thought I would give a suggestion to your reader which could help.

There is a type of insurance that provides a box in the car that monitors driving – don’t ask me the technical details!

This system provides visible data feedback via an online portal, and premiums are set according to how careful the driver is. If the reader’s son is made to take up any increase in the premium which results from his driving, he might think twice about bombing about.

Also, they will both be able to see the data and talk about his behaviours, which might slow him down.

There are a couple of different providers, I believe.

I hope this helps.

Many thanks,


*A note from Miriam: to add to the above, some insurers also provide an app which has to be turned before you start driving and switched off after you are finished driving, as opposed to a box being installed in the car. As Samantha touched on already, there are several options from different insurers.

A lesson from grief

Dear Miriam,

Having read the letter from Ulster Mother in a recent edition of Irish Country Living, I have a few comments. Firstly, I think that poor woman is being bullied by her son. She has to stand up to him. No car unless he pays for the insurance and fuel up front. No out at night in the car. She will drive him where he wants to go and he can get a taxi home.

I know of a family whose daughter is severely injured after a car accident in her teens. She was a passenger. Sadly, the driver passed away. It happened in the early hours of the morning coming home from a birthday party. There was a huge out pouring of grief at the funeral.

The mother of the deceased has aged prematurely and is constantly reminded of her lost son every time she meets the girl’s parents or passes along the road where he died. The other mother had to give up her job to care for her daughter, who needs a lot of care, both from her and others.

She will need this level of care for the rest of her life. Her mobility is very affected, her speech is altered, but her brain is very active. You can imagine how she feels.

It is a number of years since the accident now and her parents worry so much about her. So many lives have been drastically altered because of this accident. My advice to Ulster Mother would be to rein in her son a bit. Let him learn the price of a car and have a bit of respect for his mother.

Yours faithfully,

Munster Father

Read more

Dear Miriam: I feel very overwhelmed

Dear Miriam: my teenage son drives too fast