N.J. plan for roadside ‘textalyzer’ tests

A New Jersey lawmaker says police should be able to use "textalyzers" to test the cell phones of drivers involved in serious crashes. The distracted driving legislation from state Sen. Richard Codey is similar to a bill recently introduced in New York, to significant publicity. New Jersey drivers who refuse to hand over their cell phones would be subject to penalties in procedures similar to those used on suspected drunken drivers who refuse to have their breath tested. "Policymakers and road-safety experts are reaching back to tried-and-tested strategies to treat distracted driving … [Read more...]

Google Glass ticket thrown out

A California tech tester who was stopped and cited for using Google Glass has beaten the rap. A San Diego court officer said he found no evidence that Cecilia Abadie was using the new visual technology just before she was stopped for speeding. The ticket was for using a "monitor" while driving, not for a violation of cell phone or texting laws. The court commissioner did say "falls within the purview and intent" of state law against using a video monitor, however. California permits hands-free cell phone use and texting for adult drivers. Abadie wore the glasses while talking with … [Read more...]

Running Google Glass off the road

The high-fashion high-tech Google glasses won't be in style for West Virginia motorists. At least that's the idea behind new legislation seeking to outlaw driving while wearing computer headgear with visual displays. Gary Howell, a conservative delegate, said he was inspired to pre-emptively ban the so-called Google Glass by reading articles about the emerging technology. Google Glass is not yet on the market, but the promotional push already is under way. The glasses would run afoul of Howell's proposed law because they "project visual information into the field of vision of the wearer." … [Read more...]

Sprint: Drive First with smartphone app

Sprint has dialed up an Android app whose mission is to halt distracted driving behaviors before they begin. "Drive First" will be installed on all future Sprint Andriod phones, but subscribers must pay an additional $2 a month to engage the app. Owners of Android phones don't need to upgrade as they'll be able to download the app once the service launches, sometime in the third quarter, Sprint says. The app engages GPS to determine when a cell phone is in a moving vehicle. Incoming calls are sent to voice mail while texts trigger auto-response messages. It also blocks all but three of the … [Read more...]

Software plays cell-phone nanny

Originally published April 19, 2009 New software aims to neutralize the dangers of using mobile phones while driving, via a mechanism that prevents and controls incoming and outgoing calls. DriveAssist will be offered next year through major wireless carriers. The technology was developed by Canadian tech company Aegis Mobility in conjunction with Nationwide Insurance. Nationwide customers will receive a discount of up to 5% for using the software. “Research has confirmed that the distraction associated with cell phone use is much more dangerous than originally suspected,” said Aegis … [Read more...]