Technology tackles texting and driving issue

Posted by Jessi Turnure

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - About 30 percent of Americans admit to texting and driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But there are now many smart phone apps to block drivers from this temptation.

These apps notify parents every time their child is using their phone while driving, and it can also work the other way. Kids can see if their parents are doing it, too.

"Technology is excellent. I think it's neat."

"It's a good idea."

"Especially new drivers."

These apps monitor how many texting violations a driver makes. They also track speeding, talking on the phone, and any other phone usage, like social media, while they are driving. The apps also record exactly where they were when they pulled out their phone while behind the wheel.

"That's something that all parents should probably look at."

"You can find a lot of helpful information."

"I'd probably sit them down and have a talk with them about the danger."

Region 8 residents say there are many reasons for drivers to put down their phones.

"I have passengers here. Precious cargo."

"It's just an accident about to happen."

"It's probably just as dangerous as drinking and driving. If not more so."

But many still choose to use them.

"I think I can text safely and drive. I mean, it's a risk, but oh well."

"I only text if my kids need me to pick them up, I'll be like, "Okay." Something quick, but I try not to text and drive."

"It's just a habit. Once you start texting, you can't help but answer when it goes off. You're not gonna be like, "Um, I'm gonna wait till my car stops. You're gonna text."

"You can, but you may end up in a wreck or injuring somebody crossing the road or anything."

In Arkansas, texting and driving is a secondary citation, so police cannot pull you over specifically for texting and driving. But many in Region 8 say that law should change.

"I have children my self. They play in the road, balls roll in the road. Some kid can be driving and texting, not see them, and hit them."

"They're taking other people's lives in danger when they're doing that so they need to think of the other people. Not just themselves."

From June to Aug. 14, Basia Combs with the Jonesboro Police Department said police did not make any citations in all of Craighead County for texting and driving.

According to USA Today, here are 7 apps available now to avoid texting and driving:

• AT&T DriveMode | Android, BlackBerry; free

• Canary | Android, $14.99, iPhone, free with in-app upgrade offers

• tXtBlocker | Android, BlackBerry; $6.99/month

• SafeCell | Android, free with in-app upgrade offers, iPhone, $11.99

• Sprint Drive First | Android; $2/month

• Textecution | Android; $29.99

• text-STAR | Android; free

• tXtBlocker | Android, BlackBerry; $6.99/month

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