A new smart phone app is targeting texting while driving by disabling texting and calling capabilities on phones that are determined to be in a moving vehicle, report news sources.
The PhoneGuard app, which runs in the background on Android and Blackberry phones, pings GPS satellites every few seconds to determine how fast the phone is moving. If speeds reach more than 10 miles per hour, the app temporarily disables the phone’s texting and call out features. Attempting to use texting features results in a “No Texting Vehicle” message covering the screen.
An administrator (most likely a parent) loads the app on to a phone and sets a password. If the phone’s user is a passenger in a vehicle, the administrator can temporarily disable the app remotely. Despite the administrator function, there are simple workarounds, so consistent monitoring is the only real way to ensure compliance on the part of the phone’s user.
The primary drawback to the app is that, because the app is always running, phone battery life is shortened. Using a car charger would address the issue, and administrators can remotely disable the app during times that a user definitely would not be using the phone.
Due to a partnership with the Remember Alex Brown Foundation (an organization established by the parents of a driving-while-texting victim), PhoneGuard is free. Similar apps often require first purchasing the app and then paying for monthly service to use the app.
As a Los Angeles wrongful death attorney, I encourage motorists never to text and drive.