Road Safety News
 

Phone protection software for drivers

Monday 4th April 2011

Software has been developed which prevents drivers from using their mobile phones once they go above a preset speed.

Developed by a non-profit organisation called ‘Young Safe Drivers’, the GPS enabled software – known as ‘Anti Distracted Driving Software’ (ADDS) – detects when the driver has exceed a preset speed limit and will then prohibit incoming calls and text messages.

Responses to text messages say: “I’m driving now, call me later” and calls are directed to voicemail. When the vehicle comes to a stop, or is below the preset speed, all calls and messages are received. The software is fully deployable and runs on Android and Windows mobile phones.

ADDS will be offered at no cost to all drivers through a campaign which is being prepared by Young Safe Drivers in collaboration with several other road safety organisations. The ‘Anti Distracted Driving’ campaign will launch in May to educate drivers about the dangers of driving while using a mobile phone.

Young Safe Drivers says: “Distracted driving is the leading cause of death among our youth. Our goal is to promote safe driving through awareness and by eliminating mobile phone use while driving.

“Our ‘Anti Distracted Driving’ campaign will include; press conferences, media coverage, recruitment of volunteers who will encourage drivers to commit to a ‘no mobile phone zone’, and free distribution of ADDS.”

For more information visit the Young Safe Drivers' website.

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We provide a product in the UK that does the same thing called BizProtect, primarily aimed at businesses, but a consumer version is also available. It has a patented system that distinguishes between driver and passenger, and an admin portal that reports any tampering. It is currently being tested by several large UK fleets and we hope it will contribute to a reduction in the growing number of accidents cased by distracted driving - if you would like to know more see here.. http://www.g2mtechnologies.com/index.php/products.
Andrew, Leeds

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I think that the software is probably a good idea for the conscientious driver who thinks that they might accidentally make a 'slip' in the heat of the moment if their phone goes off.

However, it could present issues on buses and trains if it's turned on and the person forgets to turn it off. And of course, if they've turned it off to go on a train, then they've got to remember to turn it on again before they drive.

However, whatever the potential pros and cons of the app, I think it's a good thing that someone, somewhere, is applying some thought to how drivers can stay off their phones and on the road...
Neil Hopkins, Sussex

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Surely this implies it is safe to use a mobile phone at lower speeds?
Rhi, Lancashire

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This software or something very similar has been available in the states for years “PhoneGuard drive safe software” maybe it would be worth a look at the Youtube clips to get an idea of how it works?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxoYSklZlac&feature=pyv&ad=6565736722&kw=drive%20safe

It is paid for via subscription of about $30 a year, I seem to remember
Stuart, Rochdale

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Actually I frequently travel by bike on my own pleasingly free from distraction. The part of 'if it works properly' covers things like passengers using phones or emergency calls etc. Responsible use of mobile phones is fine, but as an ever increasing number of drivers seem to be unable to use them responsibly then there obviously needs to be a back up plan. People chatting on the bus is one thing, those talking at the top of their voice on the phone for the entire journey or playing music on it is quite another.
Dave, Leeds

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I agree with Honor on this point and Dave what is it you can't have a conversation on the bus because you don't like hearing it. What's the difference between a phone conversation and someone having a chat. Well in that case may I suggest you travel in a car on your own.
Supplied

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How does this differentiate between calls made or received by a driver and those by a passenger? Or am I no longer to be allowed to answer my husbands phone when he is driving and I am not, or vice versa?
Honor Byford, North Yorkshire

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This is a great idea if it works properly and should be made a compulsory piece of software on every new phone. People seem to refuse to believe that using the phone while driving is dangerous so this seems like the best solution. And it would save us from having to listen to all those conversations on the bus too.
Dave, Leeds

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