Device blocks texting while driving

Device blocks texting while driving

UTAH (ABC 4 News) - Utah's roads are becoming increasingly dangerous. More people are texting and driving despite a ban passed last July.

UTAH (ABC 4 News) - Utah's roads are becoming increasingly dangerous.  More people are texting and driving despite a ban passed last July.

A Utah company in South Jordan says it has the solution.  It's called the Key 2 Safe Driving Activator.  The small device removes the temptation to use a cell phone and drive.

ABC 4's Noah Bond sat down to talk with a family from Draper who wishes it was available two years ago.  "It's like nothing matters anymore.  It's really hard to get past the pain that you feel when you lose a child," said Mareille Jordan.

It was a rainy day when Xander Jordan was driving to school May 22, 2008.  He was texting behind the wheel even though his father Troy Jordan told him to stop.  "He prided himself on not having to look to text," he said.

Xander's car slid sideways into oncoming traffic and was hit from the side.  A police officer delivered the painful news to his parents in their home.

"He has died.  Those were the exact words he said.  Our life was forever changed from that moment," said Mareille.

His parents turned Xander's phone on months after the fatal crash.  "We could see the history of his texts and knew that he had been texting at the same time of the accident," said Mareille.

Stories like Xander's prompted Safe Driving Systems CEO Mike Fahnert into action.  "It's going to be a combination of education, enforcement and unfortunately it may take technology to turn it off," he said.

He mass produced Safe Driving Systems products developed at the University of Utah.  He says if his product is properly used texting and talking on the phone becomes impossible in a moving car.

"Our device sends out a blue tooth signal that your smart phone picks up," said Fahnert.

When the car is turned on, calls and texting are turned off.  ABC 4's Noah Bond took the product on a test run.  He said, "I'm driving 55-miles-per hour right now.  You can see the phone is still locked right here.  I'm trying to text.  I'm trying to call, but it doesn't work," he said.

911 calls and two pre-selected numbers are not blocked, just in case.

If the safe driving activation is removed tattle tale software will warn the person who installed it with a text message

Products to block texting and driving were not available to save Xander.  His parents wish they were.  "If he hadn't been texting maybe he would have had better reaction maybe could have gotten out of the spin could have not been in that position," said Mareille.

Cell phones are the number one cause of distracted driving crashes.  They kill more than 6,000 people in the United States every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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