Street Safe Teens: Text Disabling Apps

By: Bailey Disselkoen Email
By: Bailey Disselkoen Email

March 13, 2012

Just because you tell them not to do it, doesn't mean they listen.

Now stopping your teen from texting and driving is only a download away. New applications for smartphones can actually disable cells phones from texting while they are in a moving car.

"If it is getting to the point where if you think your teen is texting and driving I would definitely recommend getting some sort of application like that," said Sargent Sean Hackney, with the Albemarle County Police Department.

National studies show 28 percent of all crashes are caused by people looking down at their phones.

"The most dangerous aspect is some is actually taking their eyes off of the road while the car is is motion," said Sargent Hackney.

A parental control on OTTER, can help to keep teens' eyes on the road. The application allows parents to turn on a GPS, when the GPS registers that the car is in motion, texting is deactivated and an automated response is sent out. Six minutes after the car stops, the text messages will be sent to the phone.

Textecution is another application that works the same way, once the phone travels more than 10 miles per hour the texting device turns off.

Both OTTER and Textecution allow parents to set a password and lock the device, so teens cannot deactivate it.

While SafeCell doesn't lock, it does offer rewards. Every time the phone's owner activates a trip the texting service is deactivated when the phone travels 5 miles per hour or higher. The application also informs drivers about the specific rules of the region.

For every 1,000 miles driven while following the road rules, the driver is rewarded $1.

"There's objects inside the car that get their attention, it's just really important that they don't text and drive and keep their eyes on the road," said Sargent Hackney.

Keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel.

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