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October 24, 2008

Software Aims to Stop Calls While Driving

By Jessica Kostek, TMCnet Channel Editor

Constant warnings from law enforcement agencies, friends or even parents have grown and grown over the years. For some, the subject hits home a little harder. Dave Teater says his son, Joe, could really light up a room.
"He was always happy, always smiling--I never remember Joe being angry with anybody," Teater said. "He loved life."
Four years ago, 12-year-old Joe was killed by a woman distracted while on her cell phone. She ran a red light and plowed into the Teaters' car.
"You never get over it," he said.
Teater closed his automotive consulting business to take up a cause--warning others, CBS News science and technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg reports.
"I don't think people ought to use a cell phone when they're driving, period," he said.
Some states, such as California, have passed hands-free laws that forbid drivers to talk on their cell phones while driving. First time violators will have to pay a $20 fee while the highest is a $50 fee, not including court fees.

Teater wants drivers to take advantage of some of the new technology for cell phones and texting devices such as Bluetooth. A new software by Aegis Mobility called DriveAssist, an advanced call management technology allows users the ability to talk on their cell phones when driving, while ensuring responsible mobile phone use while driving.
DriveAssist detects when a mobile user is driving and manages incoming and outgoing calls, text messages and internet access, just like a personal assistant. The DriveAssist service will be available through Mobile Operators. The service allows E911 calls and includes an override feature so you can make calls while a passenger.
CNET reports that the DriveAssist software will be available early next year and cost between $10 and $20 a month. Nationwide Insurance has already announced people who use it will save money on their policies.
As for Teater, he is convinced the new software will save much more than that.
"Nothing will ever make up for the loss of Joe," he said. "But it'll add some meaning to it. And that is helpful."

Jessica Kostek is a channel editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Jessica’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jessica Kostek

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