Guy Adams: Teen driving with all the fun removed

LA Notebook
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The Independent Online

The rest of the world can keep its hybrid technology and so-called "va-va-voom." Here in the US of A, our ailing motor industry has finally chanced on an innovation the nation's car buyers might actually want.

It's called MyKey, and is a computer chip that fits in a vehicle's ignition, allowing anxious parents to limit both the top speed their offspring can drive, and the maximum volume at which the car stereo lets them play their so-called-music.

Ford, which makes the device, this week revealed plans to add it to their entire range – a move which, at risk of sounding like a grumpy old man, heralds the firm's finest hour since founding father Henry invented the production line.

Just think: not only will MyKey put a dent in the ugly figure of 5,000-odd teenagers killed each year on the nation's roads, it may also quieten the blight of noisy music that pollutes even LA's most bourgeois neighbourhoods.

In Southern California, over-amped baselines from passing teenagers' cars represent a terrific menace, since their vibrations are eerily similar to the early stages of an earthquake. The sound of a single passing hip–hop aficionado can cause panic.

There is, of course, something of the Big Brother about MyKey. Critics call it intrusive; some even point out that getting a driving licence at 15 or 16, and using it recklessly, is a quintessential part of the American teenage experience.

But who really cares? Thanks to this stunning device, when you pull up at LA's traffic lights of the future, you'll still be able see the time-honoured spectacle of spotty youths driving enormous vehicles. You just won't be able to hear them.

Becks on the beach

David Beckham has been on Santa Monica beach – near my local surf break, as it happens – filming a TV advert for the California tourist board.

He was talked into the project, which involved playing "keepy-uppy" on the golden sands, by the State's most powerful celebrity, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Fun though it sounds, LA Galaxy fans are entitled to wonder whether Beckham is the ideal man to entice visitors to California: judging by his recent career path, there are some who feel the former England captain would rather spend time in Milan.

Surgery? Never!

Demi Moore confronted a sacred cow this week, when she told French Marie Claire that she'd never had plastic surgery, claiming: "the scalpel won't make you happy!"

Two years ago, Ms Moore discussed her advancing years with Red magazine. That prompted a strangely-different headline: "She's spent £226k on plastic surgery but 'I still can't get a part,' says Demi."