The Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC have written many articles on the risks of not only talking on the phone and driving but also texting and driving. There is no state law preventing drivers from talking or texting on their cell phones while behind the wheel, but one local auto dealership is offering a technology that would take phones out of drivers’ hands.
American Auto Sales in Fremont has recently partnered with a Louisiana-based company called Cellcontrol to install a Bluetooth-enabled device that can be set to disable a cell phone while the car is in motion.
Lori Koebel started offering the devices in Fremont this year. Koebel is the mother of two teenage drivers. As posted in a previous car accident blog, many children have lost their life from just one text message. Kobel stated that “Personally, I think it is going to save the lives of new, inexperienced drivers. As a parent, I can’t imagine losing a child over a cell phone.”
Cellcontrol CEO Chuck Cox said the Fremont car dealer is one of its first retail-size locations; the company’s focus has been on commercial orders for businesses with large fleets of vehicles.
“We don’t have a lot of retail presence right now,” Cox said. “There is definitely a consumer demand for the product from families with fleets of two or three vehicles.”
The Cellcontrol system is integrated with a car’s computer system to determine whether the car is moving.
It links to mobile electronic devices, and can block outgoing and incoming calls, texts and other cell phone features.
With the system activated, Koebel said, a driver would need to pull the vehicle over and shift into park before being able to receive or make calls or texts. The system always allows drivers to dial 9-1-1; other allowable numbers also can be enabled.
Koebel said she has her phone number listed as an allowable number on the systems in her children’s’ cars, so she can always get in contact with them.
Here are some facts about the device:
- The device is sold for $89.95 plus a $24.95 charge to synch the device with a cell phone.
- There is an $8.95 monthly subscription fee.
- The technology may not work with vehicles made before 1996 due to the fact that many older cars don’t have a computer system.
- The device is completely customizable.
- You can block calls or texts or both.
- Other additional features include the ability to track a vehicles speed, fuel economy and other driving behavior.
- Incoming calls or messages blocked while the vehicle is in motion will be delivered once it is parked.
- Cellcontrol can be used with a variety of cell phones, but not with prepaid phones like those made by Tracphone.
“The temptation is still there,” she said. “It’s too easy to have your phone in your car, and it will ring and you are going to answer it. This way, the distraction is not even there.”
She said several people have called to inquire about the product, but she has not slated any for installation. Koebel said she is optimistic that many people will see the value of the technology.
“I am pretty excited that we are one of the first places around here to get involved in this,” she said. “I think it is going to be pretty big.”
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