AT&T preloads cellphones with anti-texting app

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A major cell phone carrier is going the extra mile to keep teen drivers safe.

“The statistics show you’re 23 times more likely to get into a serious accident by being distracted by texting, looking at voice mails or emails while you’re driving,” said AT&T Sales Manager Tom Shevlot.

Now AT&T is taking action.  Its new Pantech Discover smartphone comes preloaded with an anti-texting app called “Drive Mode.”

“Anyone who tries to call, text or email will get a message back that says, ‘Sorry I can’t take your call right now I’m driving. I will return your call when I get done,’” said Shevlot.

Once the car reaches 25 mph, the app takes over the phone and sends out this message, “I’m driving and unable to reply.  I will get back to you very soon.”

The phone will return to normal operation once the driver has been stopped for five minutes so they won’t be able to text at a stop light or in traffic.

You can still make 911 calls and activate your navigation apps.  You can also pre-program up to five numbers that will be allowed through for voice calls for family members or roadside assistance.

AT&T says when you are in “Drive Mode” you need to keep your eyes on the road.  This is all part of its national campaign against distracted driving called “It Can Wait.”

8 comments

  • David

    While I understand the risks of texting and driving, I also foresee the inherent problems with this. First, it says that the phone will be "blocked" when a driver achieves a speed in excess of 25 MPH. This obviously means that they are using GPS tracking to monitor your speed. And second, what if you are a passenger? Obviously this little feature cannot distinguish a driver from a passenger. So anytime you are in motion at speeds faster than 25 MPH, your device is rendered useless.

  • John

    Not the phone companies business to tell me when and where I can text. The app will quickly be hacked and a workaround put in place.

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