New Technology Allows Enforcement of Anti-Texting Legislation
ROCHESTER, NEW YORK – November 14, 2009 — In response to Senator Jay Rockefeller’s (D – West Virginia) demand for answers during a recent Senate Hearing on Distracted Driving, Drive Safely Corporation (DSC) is unveiling its unique Anti-Messaging Technology (AMT), which will enable the government to enforce proposed legislation that seeks to eradicate driving while texting.
There are over 200 pieces of legislation pending at the federal, state and local levels to address texting and driving, including Senator Schumer’s (D – New York) celebrated ALERT Drivers Act. The real challenge for every level of government is to pass legislation that includes measures that will allow enforcement of anti-texting measures. Drive Safely Corp.’s AMT is the only technology that currently exists that will guarantee the government the ability to enforce anti-texting legislation.
The support for anti-texting measures is bipartisan and overwhelming. Studies by various universities, state and federal law enforcement agencies, the American Automobile Association (AAA), and the National Safety Council (NSC) confirm that texting and driving has reached fatally epidemic proportions. Recently, legislators, administrators, scientists and cell-phone industry leaders came together to meet at the first-ever Distracted Driving Summit, which was hosted by Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood. At the Summit, the purpose of which was to facilitate an open dialogue between members of the public and private sectors about the dangers of distracted driving, several research scientists cited a study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute which found that sending text messages while driving increased the likelihood of an accident by a staggering 2300%. By comparison, a person who operates a motor vehicle while legally intoxicated is only 8 times more likely to be in an accident than a non-intoxicated driver.
Despite unanimous agreement that texting while driving needs to be banned, there remains a conspicuous absence of any viable method to enforce the proposed Federal anti-texting legislation. In fact, at a Senate Hearing held on October 28, 2009, Senator Rockefeller (D – West Virginia) repeatedly asked Secretary LaHood and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski whether technology exists that would allow the States the ability to enforce anti-texting legislation. Now, with Drive Safely Corp.’s new product, Anti-Messaging Technology (AMT), the answer to that question is an unequivocal “yes.”
AMT, developed by Drive Safely Corp., utilizes Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) data to ascertain whether the user’s mobile phone is in a moving vehicle. If AMT determines that the phone is in motion, a screen pops up whenever the user first attempts to read or send an SMS text, MMS or e-mail. If the user accesses the phone’s messenger services (to receive or send a text, for example) a screen advises the user that “Texting While Driving is Illegal,” and then asks the following question: “Are you a driver?” If the answer is “yes,” the phone’s messenger capabilities are disabled until the phone has been at rest for a period of time. If the user answers “no,” then AMT will allow the user to access the messenger services only if the user is able to input a series of letters, numbers and symbols within a restricted time frame, a process called the “Attention Validation Sequence.” The Attention Validation Sequence screen displays randomly assigned letters, numbers and symbols. In order to avoid immediate disablement of the phone’s messenger functions, the user must input the data exactly as shown in a very short time period. Following the initial Attention Validation Sequence screen, AMT will periodically and (without warning) initiate additional Attention Validation Sequence to ensure that the user is not driving a motor vehicle. If the user fails to respond exactly, and in the required time period, with respect to every validator screen, AMT will disable the phone’s messenger services until the phone has stopped moving for a period of time.
Drive Safely Corp.’s Chief Operating Officer, Jerry Schaffer, explains: “AMT is unique insofar as the product allows each State to set the parameters for initiation. In other words, New York State may decide that AMT should begin initiation whenever the phone reaches 5 mph, but Illinois may decide that initiation should begin at 20 mph – AMT allows each State to customize the initiation speed. Similarly, each State can decide how long the user has to input the random series of keystrokes (Attention Validation Sequence) before the user is locked out of the phone’s messenger capabilities. Furthermore, each State has the ability to set the time frame within which a user must respond to the Attention Validation Sequence. Our studies have shown that passengers are not inhibited in their ability to text while in a moving car since they can readily pass the Attention Validation Sequence that most drivers fail. Finally, what truly distinguishes AMT from every other product is that AMT is designed to be broadcast to all mobile phones from each carrier as a component of their respective networks. Products other than AMT are designed to be downloaded on an individual’s phone, which allows the software to be enabled or disabled at will. With AMT the user cannot disable the product, which ensures uniform enforcement.” Schaffer also added that: “It is critical to understand that DSC’s technology has no effect on the user’s ability to place and receive telephone calls or access 911 emergency messaging. Disabling the phone’s messenger services has no effect on the phone’s other features, although these controls can be added as required by law.”
Drive Safely Corp. has no competitors. DSC is the only company that provides a solution for law enforcement personnel. Although voice-recognition software exists that converts text into sound, there are many problems with that technology: (1) the software is not sophisticated enough to detect and analyze different accents and dialects; (2) the software is downloaded on the phone which means that the user has the ability to turn off the software in order to text while driving, thereby frustrating the government’s enforcement efforts; and (3) voice-recognition software does not allow the private receipt of information – passengers can overhear the driver’s private messages.
The safety of our citizens is DSC’s primary concern. As DSC Vice President Patrick Bauer explained on Fox Business News, “No text I have ever sent is worth anyone’s life. Something needs to change.”
For more information on DSC and its technology you can visit its website at www.drivesafelycorp.com.
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- Contact Information
- Jerry Schaffer
- Chief Operating Officer
- Drive Safely Corporation
- Contact via E-mail
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