Device Would Block Driver's Cell Phone

ByPatrickReddy-CincinnatiEnquirer Annoyed with the danger posed by drivers talking on their cell phones, UPS deliveryman Fred Wenz teamed up with a friend, John Fischer, to invent a device that could do something about it.

The two formed Try Safety First and filed a provisional patent on the Owner Compliance Key, an electronic device that blocks cell phone signals in a 5-foot radius, or the space around the driver’s seat. The device can be set to be active only on a secondary key — for instance, one handed to a teenager.

Cell phones in cars is a growing safety concern, and five states ban their use while driving, while six ban texting, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis estimates that 2,600 people die and 12,000 are severely injured each year due to cell phone use in cars.

Wenz and Fischer say they think they can mass-produce the device for as little as $10 per vehicle. Would you consider installing a cell phone blocker in your car? Maybe in the vehicle your teen driver uses? Let us know in the comments.

Inventors’ Device Blocks Cell Use Around Driver (USA Today)

By Stephen Markley | April 15, 2009 | Comments (35)
Tags: Safety

Comments 

C

Only 5 foot? Can they make it larger so that it can cover the next car too?

Tony

Not sure if this is a leagal thing. The FCC Law says that the devices can't intefere with other devices's operation.

a

Bad idea. Someone in need of help would not be able to place an emergency call without distancing themselves from their keys - an action that may be impossible or dangerous in an emergency situation.

So...if the engine's running and the car's in park and the parking brake's on, you still can't make a call.

E

It very well maybe illegal under current law but the idea and purpose of the product does have merit. Unlike other jammers which are used to block other peoples cell phones, this jammer is intended to only jam the signals within the car. Great idea IF you had a teenager with a cell phone problem. Quite possibly a very bad idea if your teen doesn't have a problem...they may need to call 911 from inside the car after an accident.

Or if, God forbid, your teen were to be car jacked/abducted...if they're in a car with one of these devices their cell phone won't be able to receive signals. Which would make it harder for police to track where they might have been taking to. Cops have solved murders by being able to track cell phone signals...not just of people making calls but every time someone calls your phone or sends you a text it bounces off cell phone towers whether you answer it/read it or not...but if the signal can't reach your phone SOL

james souder

yeah it seems like a good idea , but what happens in a emergency , say an accident an the child is trapped , suddenly looses its appeal doesnt it, maybe a better idea would be parents who actually parents , who actually parent ,and take away the kids useage of the car if found using the phone while driving , a better idea would be a device to monitor if the kid if using there cell while driving, and then tattles back to the parents

George

What did people do before cellular telephones?
What happened to self-sufficiency?

Rick

A VERY BAD IDEA!!!!!!!! GOD HELP US THE DEMOCRATS WANT TO CONTROL EVERYTHING!!!!!

Anti-Rick

Seems like a great idea if you can address the concerns from the other comments. Except maybe Rick's, he obviously has a problem with progress and change.

Rosa

that is so cool! and perfect timing with more and more states banning driving while texting, the accident statistics for texters are scary!: http://www.newsy.com/videos/texting_and_driving_your_right_or_a_new_way_to_crash

ASDFGH

I don't support this product, but if you read their site, it says that 911 emergency calls will not be blocked via the device.

stacy

I'am interested in buying the product.(block cells in cars)Can you tell me where I can buy it.

Thanks Stacy

stacy

I would like to buy the cell blocker in autos.Please tell me where I can buy it.Thanks

Ruben Deleon

Hey Fred and John,have you guys tried to get in to see Oprah.She is against cell phone use in vehicles,she could definitely help you guys out.This jammer is a great invention good luck with it.It's time to make our roads a little safer again.

jaycee

Definitely, I was just talking about this with someone yesterday, a way to block cell phone use by a teen driver that does not give them the option or choice because most of them will make a bad one. It does have to be a device that they can not alter or turn off. A hidden option would be best.

D

According to their website, www.trysafetyfirst.com, the device can be made to do one of two things, whichever you decide. You can prohibit text and email only, or you can chose to prohibit all uses of the phone. However, all 911 emergency calls will be enabled, and the phone will become fully functional once the automobile is placed in park again as well.
I can't see a downside to this product, especially if you have teenage drivers who seem to be addicted to their phone like mine is.
I spoke with a good friend of mine today who just brought his son home from the hospital, blessed to be alive, all because he was using his phone while driving.
I give this device a thumbs up!

peggy

I'm all for a device that would block texting and talking while driving. I know that on my Verizon phone I can block numbers that would still allow 911 calls. Maybe this is the way to go

RUDY

let me know where to buy and how much. Thanks

joanne freeland

This needs to be incorporated in the ignition system of the car, so that it is engaged only when the care is in gear. Once in park, or if engine isn't running it should not block the cell service. that way in an emergency the cell phone would be functional. Having a perimeter around only the driver is a good idea, that way others in the car could use their phones without difficulty

jeff wright

If it would only block the signla while the car is moving it would be great my cousins son died from texting while driving

Having just experienced being hit on my motorcycle at 60 mph by a woman who was talking on her cell as she moved into my lane without looking... I think this is a GREAT idea! Could it be better? Yes if it could be turned on as the car was put into motion and turned off once in park.

Fortunately for me I survived this time. If people dont wake up soon and stop driving distracted, others will always be at risk and there will also be someone trying to control them.

Jim

This would've come in handy for the obnoxious female that was texting during a movie I was at yesterday.

troy ramessar

i work at a bank and i think that with the crime rate in st.maarten today this would be a good device to block all cell phone signal because the bb like crazy in the bank and driving also.

John

I think this is a great idea and would like to know how to obtain the device. The statistics are scary.

abdul

is your product in the market already or still under observation & testing?

Phoney

Now you know that you are not going to block your own phone, if thats is the case then everyone should shut the phone off while driving, wake up people think, no need to spend money, all you need to do is think!!!

lou

My teen is going to drive soon I been looking for this a long time just let me know where I can get one this is a great idea
again thanks
Lou

Keep moving forward

Can we make one that allows a call/signal when ingnition is turned off. This would be great for all the people who are incapable of respecting law and other road users. You have to pull over to check mesages or make a call anyway. Well legally anyhow.
Can there be a way to access ingnition this way to maybe create a way for police to imobilize a car while in pursuit, We will need this to activate brakes as well
May give incentive for law enforcement, government and manufactures and insurance agencies to make it manditory for all idiots
O and Rick Your an idiot

I'm all for a system that would prevent text messaging and discussing while generating. I know that on my Verizon cellphone I can prevent figures that would still allow 911 cellphone calls.

jim

Yes....my daughter is fixen to start driving and I am nonlinear looking at jammers that work when the car is running....saftey is a concern...but texting accidents happen a lot more than needing a 911 call to go through

What's wrong with a blue tooth visor set? I bought mine with tesco vouchers so it cost me nothing.
Anyway, they're ridiculously cheap from large retail outlets now, and smartphones are perfectly capable of reading out or sending texts/emails/making calls using voice commands. There's really no need to take you eyes off the road anymore

Jonathan

I manage a fleet of 200 drivers and would love this product in each of my trucks. As long as it alows the driver to make 911 calls.

K

Do people listen to themselves? What if there was an accident? OMG. What did people do up until 10 years ago when they were in a car accident before the age of cell-phones? These comments just speak more to the culture of people who simply couldn't imagine life without a cell-phone in their hand 24 hours a day. Idiots.

B

I know a young lady who has had 5 accidents while on the phone or texting, so yes, this is a good idea for other peoples protection as well as the unfocused driver.

Scott

I too am working on a blocking system as well and have answered some of the safety questions asked. I will look up your patent. Maybe we could work together as I am in Canada

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