Smartphone service helps prevent texting-while-driving
Posted November 21, 2014
Wilmington, N.C. — When a concrete-mixing truck with a texting driver crushed Foster Oliver's car, the Wilmington businessman got busy.
His search for ways to stop texting and driving intensified because of painful stories like that of Debra and Mark Baggett, who lost their 16-year-old son Eric in 2010.
His truck flipped as he texted his girlfriend "RU up yet."
"He texted at 8:36. At 8:37, he was dead," said Mark Baggett.
"There's no text worth the chance of you killing someone or dying yourself. It just isn't worth it," said Oliver.
So, he hired a tech company to develop a GPS-based software service called NO TEXT NO WRECKS.
Aimed at teen drivers, it blocks texting, Web use and calls, except for 911, once a vehicle reaches 10 mph.
The service is $8.95 and is currently available only for Android smartphones. Oliver is planning to have an iOS version of the service available sometime next year.
Those trying to text to or call the phone automatically receive a message letting them know the recipient is traveling and will respond as soon as it is safe to talk.
A parent can override the system and allow certain calls, and if someone tampers with the software, the system alerts the parent.
"Your kids are going to get frustrated, I can tell you that now," Oliver said. "It's a very frustrating thing, because we have to re-educate them."
The Baggetts believe the technology could have saved their son and many others.
"If they were not using their phones trying to text while they're driving, there'd be a lot less accidents, a lot less deaths," Debra Baggett said.