Two states are releasing an app designed to help curb the epidemic of texting and other forms of distracted driving as part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April.
Kentucky and West Virginia will be the first states in the country to debut the new smartphone app called TextLimit that restricts the use of smartphone features while a vehicle is in motion.
TextLimit’s President, David Meers, said, “TextLimit works with a smartphone’s global positioning software to determine the speed of the user’s vehicle. When a vehicle reaches a pre-selected speed limit the smartphone’s touch-screen is inhibited — deactivating texting and most calling functions; therefore reducing the likelihood of distracted driving-related crashes.”
According to the company, “TextLimit works with all Android, Apple and Blackberry 3G and 4G LTE devices connected to a data signal on AOI, AT&T, Boost, Metro PCS, T-Mobile, Verizon, Virgin, Sprint and all other wireless service systems in the U.S., Canada and around the globe.”
Statistics from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), show distracted driving accounted for more than 3,300 deaths in 2012, and in 2013, over 1.6 million distracted driving crashes occurred in the U.S.
Since the start of 2014, over 200,000 automobile crashes have already been attributed to smartphone-related driving distractions.
As these numbers continue to soar and driving becomes more precarious, it’s obvious that laws in most states banning texting or talking on the phone while driving do little to curb negligent drivers.
That’s where the need for an app like TextLimit comes into play.
The Treasurer of the National Governors Highway Safety Association and Executive Director of Kentucky’s Transportation Cabinet, Bill Bell said, “Kentucky has tested TextLimit extensively and concluded it is effective and reliable. I am convinced TextLimit will help reduce the escalating incidents of distracted driving deaths and collisions in Kentucky and the U.S.”
TextLimit also offers a variety of controls that enable parents to monitor their children’s smartphone use while driving.
Meers says, “Since people ages 16-21 account for more than one-third of all distracted driving accidents, TextLimit compels parents to download the ‘app’ into their children’s’ cell phones.”
He added, “While enrolling family subscribers is one of the company’s goals, the others are to solicit state transportation department mass download agreements, plus public and private transportation providers and corporate motor fleet contracts.”
Other features of the app include:
- Programmable by Administrator only.
- Administrators, parents, fleet supervisors have sole access to program functions.
- Attempts by User to disable sends email & text alert to Administrator.
- Administrator sets maximum permissible speed at which device’s touch screen is deactivated.
- Deactivated touch screen inhibits texting and calling functions.
- Monitors vehicle’s speed even when touch screen inhibited.
- When vehicle exceeds Administrator-defined speed, sends email & text alert to Administrator.
- Administrator empowered to customize incoming phone numbers.
- Administrator can ring-through to phone at any time.
- GPS connectivity allows Administrator to locate device at any time when user is logged-in.
- Broadcasts device’s location every five minutes, providing Administrator an eight hour history.
- 9-1-1 emergency call functions always active.
The app normally costs $24.99 per phone, but is free to residents of Kentucky and West Virginia with the codes NOTEXTKY & NOTEXTWV, respectively, at TextLimit.com.
Other states are looking into testing the app as well.
More information on the TextLimit mobile app to prevent distracted driving is available at TextLimit.com.