POSTED: Monday, December 26, 2011 - 3:56pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 - 11:18am
Federal regulators want to take the phone out of your hand while you're driving your car.
We could be facing a nationwide crackdown on cell phones, but how do you stop people from talking or texting when they are behind the wheel? Bob Hansen takes a closer look at one idea.
When Chuck Cox gets in the car, he puts on his seatbelt and gets ready to hit the road. But, one thing he won't do is use his cell phone.
"You get a blocking screen that simply says you can't do it," says Cellcontrol Voice President, Chuck Cox.
Chuck is talking about a system called "cell control" his company is hoping to sell to companies with big fleets of cars and of course to parents. So you get into your car while talking on the phone...
"It will drop the call or it will put up a blocking screen so you can no longer text, or no longer read your emails, or no longer read your texts," says Chuck.
The trick here is a device that plugs into your car's diagnostic plug and works with software installed on selected phones. The blocking program only works when the car is moving.
"Plug it in and it sends a Bluetooth signal into the car that signals motion, not just power on, but when the car is actually moving," says Chuck.
The little device that plugs into your car sells for around $25. After that, you have to pay a monthly fee to keep blocking your phone.
People agreed that distracted drivers from cell phones is a problem , but should those phones be blocked inside a car?
The cell control system lets you choose who to block. For instance, no texting but music or online maps can be ok. It also notifies parents if their children try to tamper with the system. The bottom line- People are doing more and more with their phones these days and still getting behind the wheel.
"People do get in their cars. They do use their phones. They do text. They email. They surf. They 'Words with Friends,' and 'Angry Birds' and the whole bit, all while driving and that's dangerous," says Chuck.
So again, this cell control system costs $25 for the device, and $8 a month for up to six phones. At this point it does not work on the iPhone, but they're hoping to change that early next year.