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New Device Can Prevent Cell Phone Use While Driving

The use of handheld cell phones while driving is completely outlawed in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada. But how can you make sure that drivers will comply with the law? One way is to make their cell phones inoperable.

That’s what a new device from a Georgia company can do. Known as Cell Control, the small unit plugs into the outlet of a vehicle which is used by auto shops to test emissions levels. Once plugged in, the device renders all designated phones inoperable; a message on the cell phone screen reads that the phone has been disabled.

Here’s the best part: Cell Control lets the owner program in which cell phone numbers it will identify and block. This level of control means that other cell phones in the vehicle that may be used by passengers will work as they would normally.

There are a couple of obvious applications for Cell Control. One is for parents who want to ensure that their teen driver is not texting, talking on the phone, or surfing the Web while behind the wheel. Another is for businesses who wish to prevent their employees from doing the same thing as they drive company vehicles on the job. Cell Control also has a "fail-safe:" if the device is unplugged from the outlet, an e-mail alert is sent immediately to its owner notifying them of the problem.

Cell Control has the potential to prevent thousands of deaths each year from auto accidents caused by distracted driving, many of which involve drivers fiddling with handheld cell phones while behind the wheel.