TXTBlocker lets parents and employers disable texting while driving
By Paul Lester
October 3, 2009
It should come as no surprise to hear that texting while driving is a particularly dangerous thing to do. Recent studies have shown that drivers are 23 times more likely to get into an accident if they are texting and an astonishing 46% of teens have admitted occurrences of driving while distracted as a result of fiddling with phones. A new product called TXTBlocker addresses these issues directly by disabling a number of phone functions, with the specific impact decided by a choice of settings available from an account page online once you subscribe.
Users could, for example, block all phone alerts that might distract a driver while on the road, such as the ability to make and receive phone calls and texts, barring the 911 emergency service. Alternatively a "safe-list" of numbers could be allowed through and "safe-zones" can be created to up the security around schools or worksites.
The product works in tandem with GPS technology using proprietary velocity and geographic algorithms to tell when a user is driving, which allows it to automatically activate the service. The most obvious issue at this point, then, would be to question the impact on passengers who are "safe" to use their phones, and in such a situation it appears possible to configure the software to allow calls for specific users through an online account.
Callers are notified that calls and text messages that are being blocked if they try to get in touch and additional provisions are made for those who use Bluetooth headsets and hands-free kits.
The service costs US$9.99 per month with an initial setup fee of $24.99, though this includes the first month’s subscription. If you feel TXTBlocker would be of benefit, check out the official site to see if your phone is compatible before you sign up.