From time to time, we ask our viewers, "What's bugging you?" One viewer said WE were bugging him. Specifically, he took issue with a story we did on Thursday on a texting and driving simulator.
His gripe? Why show a problem and not show a solution. When we got in touch with him, he invited us to join him on a drive along with his son to demonstrate an app which prevents drivers from talking and texting while they're behind the wheel.
When 18-year-old Alex Baty gets behind the wheel, he's focused on the road. "It's safer. I feel safer," Alex said. He credits the Celltrakr app that his father, Scott, installed on his cellphone. The Baty's showed us what happens when someone tries to call his Alex while he's driving. "It goes immediately to voice mail, see, it didn't even ring his phone," said Scott.
When Scott tried to text his son, "I get a text back, says I'm driving. I will contact you when I arrive."
About a year ago, Scott started his monthly 3 dollar subscription to Celltrakr. "What it does is it shuts down my kids when they're driving over 10 miles per hour. Will not let them make cell calls, will not let them call in or text in or out," Scott showed us. And if they try to disable the GPS in their phone so dad can't see what they're up to, busted. "It will notify me they've turned it off," said Scott.
Alex has been honest with his dad. "I don't like it. It's not fun being watched," said Alex. But at the same time, Alex admits that before this app was here he was guilty of texting while driving. "There's been a few scares." "Were those few scares enough to scare you out of glancing at your phone when it would beep or ring or texting while driving?" asked FOX 35. "Um. No. No," Alex answered.
While this might not be a cool app for a teen drivers, Alex admits that it takes away the texting temptation. "It's nice to not have the option to look," said Alex. And for this dad, who has two teen drivers behind the wheel, "It gives me the piece of mind their eyes are actually on the road and not looking at the cell phones. It's like dad sitting next to them even when I'm not there, like when the had their learners permits."
An important note here, the one number your teen can drive with while this app is enabled is 911 in case of emergency. Also, the app turns itself off once the GPS senses it has not bee going 10mph or more for 5 minutes. That means there is no time to text a red lights either.