Textecution on Android stops texting while driving

The Guardian reports a new service called Textecution uses a phone's in-built GPS system to detect how fast the handset is travelling. If the phone is moving quicker than 10mph (16.1kmph), it is barred from sending SMSs.

When the phone comes to a halt, the driver is allowed to send texts again. This and other similar services are in response to the growing number of accidents resulting with people fiddling with mobile phones while behind the wheel.

The Guardian says a report by the UK's RAC Foundation last year found that texting while driving impaired driving skills more than being drunk or high on drugs. Some 48% of drivers aged 18 to 24 admitted breaking the law by texting while driving.

The Textecution app costs US$10 and can be downloaded in the UK or US onto Google's mobile phone platform Android.

Textecution is designed for parents to control their kids - the idea is the parent registers their child's details with the service and installs the app on their phone, enabling the child's movements to be tracked by satellite.

In my experience, the worst mobile phone offenders while driving - particularly at high speed on the motorway - are middle aged business people. I've even seen them in the outside lane making a note of whatever they are being told on the phone while breaking the 70mph speed limit.

Another solution might be the answer to mid-life delinquency - Key2SafeDriving uses a key fob and is more restrictive. Designed by researchers at the University of Utah, it uses a device that encloses the car key.

When the key is removed for insertion into the car's ignition, the phone cannot be used, except for emergency numbers or those approved by whoever set up the system to protect the driver (and everyone else on the road).

Incoming calls and texts are automatically answered with a message that says, 'I am driving now. I will call you later when I arrive at the destination safely.'

When the engine is turned off, the driver slides the key back into the device, which sends a 'car stopped' signal to the phone, returning it to normal mode.