Tool to stop mobile use behind wheel


Using the mobile phone when behind the wheel could become a thing of the past thanks to a Boston-based firm.

Ubitrac has launched a tracking tool which prevents outbound calls, texting, email and social media when driving.

The new ICED technology – developed by the Gilbert Drive-based company – works by ‘freezing’ a driver’s mobile phone when their speed is greater than 7mph.

The user can determine whether or not inbound calls can be answered using Bluetooth, while there is also an emergency call override.

Tony Foote, Ubitrac’s managing director, said he hoped the technology would help to reduce the number of accidents on the roads related to mobile phone use – and ultimately save lives.

He said they had already been in discussion with insurance companies about using ICED with drivers under the age of 25.

“We’ve also had enquiries from government organisations seriously concerned about the number of road accidents and deaths occurring to young drivers having recently passed their tests,” Mr Foote said.

“The Department of Transport figures show that lack of attention caused by the use of mobile phones whilst driving is still a very big problem. Hopefully we can help.”

Mr Foote added that employers or parents could also have control of the software to ensure their workers or children aren’t using their mobile phones while they’re in moving vehicles.

With ICED the phone still works in the background, so when the vehicle comes to a halt, it automatically switches off, allowing instant up-to-date access to the usual apps.

It also means that tracking and GPS functions continue to work – unlike if the phone was simply turned off.

Recent figures from the Department of Transport revealed that half a million motorists are using their mobile phones illegally at the wheel.

Offending has risen 14 per cent since 2009 – with under 30s the biggest culprits.