Local News

Smartphone service helps prevent texting-while-driving

Posted November 21, 2014

— 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.


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  • Edward Anderson Nov 24, 2014
    user avatar

    While I 100% agree that people should not be texting and driving, making software like this mandatory for all phones would be a *severe* over-reach of authority. We're already living in a nanny state where we've given too much control over common-sense things people *should* to (like seat belts) to our government overlords. People need to take personal responsibility for their actions and be held accountable if they do stupid things, not have everything be restricted by "the man".

  • Nicolle Leney Nov 21, 2014
    user avatar

    How would it be able to distinguish whether a person is the driver or the passenger? There's no reason a passenger in a moving car should not be able to text, etc.

  • A person Nov 21, 2014

    View quoted thread

    P.S. it should not be limited to young drivers, it should be mandatory fro all phones at all times. I almost had some guy about 30 hit my car today because he was texting, then seemed to think his inattention was my fault

  • A person Nov 21, 2014

    I always wondered why it was not required to have software in phones that would do that exact thing, and not to be used voluntarily. It should be mandatory and automatic. This is also very simple programming that only requires the most basic code to do

  • mblester123 Nov 21, 2014

    I sure hope they fix the grammar on this message: "too fast," not "to fast." Can't believe it made it this far without the error being caught.