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Friday
Jan212011

T-Mobile Backs Application to Block Texts, Calls While Driving 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BELLEVUE, Wash.) -- If you don't have the will power to decline calls or texts when you're behind the wheel, T-Mobile now has a way to do it for you. To stop cell phone users from driving dangerously, the company this week unveiled a new service that automatically disables most texting and calling features when a phone senses that it is in motion.

The service, DriveSmart Plus, is not the first smartphone application to attempt to block on-the-road calls and texts. But while other cell phone carriers say they are working on similar kinds of technology, T-Mobile's service is the first carrier-backed service to hit the market.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but, in a press release, said the $4.99 per month application, developed by Emeryville, Calif. company Location Labs, will be available to T-Mobile customers with Android smartphones.

When activated, the DriveSmart application determines how quickly a phone is switching between cell phone towers. When it senses the phone is moving faster than 10 miles per hour, within a few minutesit automatically sends phone calls to voicemail or a hands-free Bluetooth headset.

Studies have shown that cell phone use while driving increases crash risk by four times. But "distracted driving is bigger than just cell phones," Rader said. "Targeting cell phones only addresses one slice of the problem."

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