11 Jan 2013
- The Courier-Mail, Australia
Spying on your children could be the only answer to keeping them safe, an expert has warned.
The advice comes after the tragic deaths of two young girls in a horror crash in Anstead during the early hours of Sunday morning.
Samantha Neilsen, 16, was a passenger in a car she and friend Zara Simon, 17, took for a joy ride after spending the night at a friend's house.
This week, Samantha's family told how she had turned a corner after they had battled with her free-spirited and reckless personality.
The bubbly teen was back on track – enjoying school and learning to be a personal trainer – when she jumped in a friend's car on Sunday morning for a high-speed spin that ended in tragedy.
The Neilsens hoped their story would help other parents and teens understand the terrible consequences of taking too many risks.
"Parents are going to have to develop a new strategy for how they manage kids," Samantha's father Tim told The Courier-Mail.
"With mobile phones and social networking these days, all it takes is the touch of a button and you have a whole group of friends at your fingertips."
Queensland University of Technology researcher Susan Hetherington, who specialises in children and the media, said it was clear the Neilsens had done all they could for their daughter.
But she said technology was changing so fast that it was becoming increasingly difficult for parents to keep track of their kids and who they associated with.