Pennsylvania mom shares Cellcontrol story with ABC

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Denise Melhorn decided there had to be a better way than entrusting her daughter with the will power to not use her cell phone while driving. After performing some research she uncovered Cellcontrol, a clever technology solution to the distracted driving epidemic. Watch Denise’s daughter talk to ABC about what it’s like to drive now that Cellcontrol is installed in her car. To watch the video, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall Street Journal highlights Cellcontrol for Road Trip

If you had to pick 50 things to take during a road trip what would they be? Well, the Wall Street Journal decided to answer that age-old question. Cellcontrol is the technology the Journal would take to protect from distracted driving.  Read the WSJ post here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cellcontrol™ Expands Usage Based Insurance Potential By Adding Distracted Driving Protection

Insurance carriers that integrate Cellcontrol’s patent protected technology into their UBI platforms can expect greater consumer interest, faster program adoption, and consistently lower loss ratios.


CHICAGO, IL. March 15 — Cellcontrol™, the industry’s leading developer of distracted driving solutions, announced today at the Insurance Telematics USA 2012 conference that it has successfully proven its ability to integrate its technology into third party hardware platforms targeting the consumer-focused usage based insurance markets. Usage based insurance (“UBI’) platforms, such as Progressive’s well-advertised Snapshot program, are growing rapidly in this country because they reward safer drivers with lower insurance premiums. Already widely adopted in Europe, UBI is becoming a critical competitive offering for consumer insurers in the US and almost every major underwriter is currently believed to be launching or at least investigating these platforms. Cellcontrol’s distracted driving technology specifically addresses one of the greatest safety risks on the road today, and its inclusion as a component of UBI platforms will drive success for insurers offering such solutions.


UBI platforms are almost universally based on a hardware device that plugs into a vehicle’s onboard diagnostics (OBD) port which then communicates driving habits to the insurer using a built-in cellular modem or via scheduled data uploads. The insurer then uses this data to risk-adjust insurance premiums. Cellcontrol’s technology works in concert with these devices by either using the device’s cellular communication to trigger a phone-based distracted driving application or, by leveraging the Bluetooth capabilities of certain devices to send a trigger signal within the vehicle cabin. Integrating Cellcontrol into a UBI platform results in safer driving habits because the driver is unable to use their phone while driving, except when in a safe and approved manner.


Cellcontrol has been actively working with select insurers to integrate its technology into their offerings and, has recently demonstrated its ability to work in multiple environments and with multiple hardware and software platforms. This integration capability is further boosted by its unique patent protection, which provides only Cellcontrol with freedom to operate and offer a distracted driving solution that links a vehicle to a mobile phone, whether via a vehicle head unit, an OBD device or any other form of telematics trigger. This patent protection is a part of Cellcontrol’s licensing program with UBI insurance partners. “By offering our technology to insurance partners, we believe we can deliver safety leadership to the industry and build truly effective solutions for incenting safer driving,” said Chuck Cox, COO of Cellcontrol. “In addition, there are virtually no upfront manufacturing or technology development costs for an insurer to add this capability because our solution was developed for adaptability and ease of integration. Any UBI platform that an insurer offers in this fashion will work immediately with the Cellcontrol app that runs on mobile phones, tablets, laptops and other handhelds. No other technology can match our patented approach, and only Cellcontrol can give insurers the ability to build in this powerful safety feature. Insurers can expect lower loss ratios as drivers behave more safely, and this is our ultimate objective.”

About Cellcontrol

Cellcontrol, based in Baton Rouge, La., is the most accurate, secure and dependable solution for distracted driving caused by cellular phones and other mobile devices. Cellcontrol uses the automobile’s computer and phone-based software to put a stop to texting, e-mail, web browsing and phone use while operating a vehicle. For more information on Cellcontrol, go to www.cellcontrol.com.

Cellcontrol™ is a registered trademark of obdEdge, LLC a Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based company.

SOURCE Cellcontrol

Morgan County Citizen – New Technology Aids Caleb’s Law

By: Michael Prochaska
Staff Writer

Three years after the State of Georgia declared a ban on texting while driving, new technology aids in enforcing the law. A new device called Cellcontrol effectively restricts texting and other hands-on applications while driving.

It works like this: After an app is downloaded to the user’s smart phone, the device is plugged into the OBD-II diagnostics port for cars made after 1996. It restricts texting, Web browsing, e-mail and other functions based on vehicle movement. The phone is still able to dial 911 for emergencies. If the driver unplugs the device, a third party, such as a parent, receives an e-mail alert. The device costs $129 and has no monthly charge.



Under Caleb’s Law, improperly using a media device carries a fine. The state’s ban on texting is named after Caleb Sorohan, a Morgan County teen who died while texting in a car in 2009. His mother, Mandi Sorohan, met with WSB-TV consumer investigator Jim Strickland last week to learn more about a product that she said could have saved her son’s life.

“It might make some teenagers mad,” she said. “But I’d rather have my teenager mad than dead.” Sorohan said she had heard of technology that provided a safety net for those who ignore the law, but that she had not seen a product until recently.  “I think it’s a good thing to have,” she said. “Teenagers just don’t think it’s (a car wreck) going to happen to them.”

Sorohan said the new technology opens up a slate of possibilities for insurance companies. She said she heard of cases where insurance companies give a discount for people who use Cellcontrol or a similar device in their car. But because the technology is new, compatibility and distribution are two areas in which the company of the same name is working on improving.

Cellcontrol currently works with smartphones such as an Android or BlackBerry, but the iPhone is still pending, according to Cellcontrol’s Web site. According to a representative from Cellcontrol, the company has contracted to sell the device through Verizon stores. Madison’s Verizon store, however, does not yet carry it. Stephen Saylor, Verizon manager, said he would add Cellcontrol to the store’s inventory if the company reached out to him. “It’s worth a life, honestly,” he said. “It’s something you definitely need,” said Kimberly Fuller, a sales representative at an AT&T store in Madison. Though Cellcontrol does not yet work with the iPhone, Fuller said AT&T stores offer a variety of hands-free devices.

Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley said that although texting while driving receives the most media attention, multitasking in a vehicle is just as dangerous. Markley said he encourages drivers to put away their phones and GPS devices once they start the ignition.

“I think that’s the kind of thing (Cellcontrol) they’re going to have to put out there, because people are so attached to their phones,” he said. “We’ve seen texting while driving as a growing problem. I don’t think just the law is enough of a deterrent to keep people from doing it.”

While Cellcontrol has the benefits of parental oversight for teenagers, Sorohan said it could benefit adults as well.

“The biggest advice I would give to parents is to lead by example,” she said “When you get in the car, you put your phone away.

Related news link:

WSB-TV 2 Atlanta – Device Keeps People from Texting and Driving

Device aims to keep teen drivers from texting behind the wheel – vcstar.com

Summary of an article written by Rachel McGrath
Ventura  County Star


Posted June 8, 2012  at 5:25 p.m

Cellcontrol, a Louisiana company, has designed a technology to stop distracted driving.  While having success with commercial fleets, Cellcontrol has partnered with Scosche, an Oxnard, California company, to move into the consumer market.  Scosche’s Safe Driving System powered by Cellcontrol, is available for Android and BlackBerry phones.

This solution, when in use, disables text messaging, internet access, and incoming and outgoing calls. Scosche’s interface product manager, Ted Lopez, stated that while other solutions are out there, Cellcontrol is unique because it is fully functional out of the box.  With Cellcontrol, there is no need to pair it with a Bluetooth device. Mr. Lopez stated, also, “There’s no way around for a parent not to know it’s being tampered with.”

To read the complete article and see what the California Office of Traffic Safety statistics say, as well as what patrol and local law enforcement agencies are seeing, visit:  http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/jun/08/device-aims-to-keep-teen-drivers-from-texting/

Massachusetts Teen Convicted of Homicide in Texting-While-Driving Case – CNN Justice

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 7:11 AM EDT, Thu June 7, 2012
 

(CNN) — A Massachusetts teen was convicted Wednesday of homicide as a result of texting while driving and will serve one year in prison.

In a landmark case for the state, Aaron Deveau, 18, was found guilty on charges of vehicular homicide, texting while driving and negligent operation of a motor vehicle in a 2011 crash that fatally injured Donald Bowley, 55, of Danville, New Hampshire, and seriously injured a passenger in Bowley’s car.

“I made a mistake,” Deveau said Wednesday after his mother told the district court in Haverhill, Massachusetts he would not intentionally hurt anyone. “If I could take it back, I would take it back.”

Judge Stephen Abany sentenced the teen to two and a half years on the vehicular homicide charge and two years on the texting and causing injury charge. He will serve one year concurrently on both charges and the balance of both charges is suspended for five years. His license will be suspended for 15 years.

“There are no winners today,” Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a statement. “A beloved grandfather is dead. A once active woman can no longer work and is still racked with pain from her injuries and a young man is going to jail. When we get behind the wheel of a car, we are obligated to drive with care. … As we saw in this case, in a split second, many lives are forever changed.”

The risks of texting while driving

In the February 20, 2011, accident, prosecutors said, Deveau’s car crossed the center line on a street in Haverhill, which is in northeast Massachusetts near New Hampshire, and hit the vehicle Bowley was driving.

Bowley’s girlfriend, Luz Roman, 59, was in his car with him and suffered serious injuries.

Haverhill Detective Thomas Howell testified the impact left the two “almost folded into the floorboards.”

Bowley died March 10, 2011, after he was taken off life support.

“My brother received such head trauma that … there was no hope for him,” Bowley’s sister, Donna Burleigh, said in court.

Roman talked about the incident’s continued impact.

“Loss of sleeping, loss of my boyfriend. So many losses, I can’t tell you how many,” she told the judge.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Ashlee Logan argued that Deveau may have erased some of his texts or lied to police after the accident about when he was texting.

Deveau said after the crash in a taped interview with police, which was played in court, “I was tired. I was distracted. When I looked away for one quick second, I came too close to her and I was trying to hit my brakes.”

His defense lawyer said authorities set out from the beginning to link texting to the crash, a cause-and-effect relationship that he contends is not valid.

Some 38 states ban text messaging for all drivers, while 31 prohibit all cell phone use by “novice drivers,” according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association.

2011: NTSB urges ban on use of phones while driving.

Visit CNN Justice for the story and the associated videos: http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/06/justice/massachusetts-texting-trial/index.html?hpt=us_c1

Device Keeps People From Texting and Driving – WSB-TV Atlanta

ATLANTA —

Mandi Sorohan arrived at a rest stop in Morgan County in a van carrying a bump sticker which serves as a remembrance and a warning for anyone driving near her.

The sticker demands drivers not to text behind the wheel. It carries the name of her 18- year-old son, Caleb, who crashed and died while texting in 2009. The state’s ban of texting is called Caleb’s law.

Sorohan agreed to meet consumer investigator Jim Strickland. She wanted to see a device he brought called the Cellcontrol.

“This is awesome. You can guarantee your kids are not going to be doing this while they’re driving,” said Sorohan.

Strickland showed Sorohan video he had shot earlier with the vice president of Cellcontrol, Chuck Cox. Cox plugged the device into the same socket where they read a car’s emissions.

“Teenagers, even parents, won’t be able to text and drive,” Cox said as he installed the device.

As Strickland drove, Cox was in the passenger seat.

Whenever the car was moving, texting stopped dead.

A warning screen appeared on his smartphone. The user decides which phones get disabled and can even control which numbers the phone will voice call. The phone is always able to call 911.

If anyone unplugs it, the controlling user gets an email alert.

“We lose about 6,000 (people) a year to distracted driving and 450,000 accidents. It’s a big problem,” said Cox.

Cox explained the user must register the device via the web, then download an app to each phone to be controlled.

Most major smartphones are compatible, but a certification for iPhone is still weeks away.

Cox said the laws against texting and driving have had an unintended backfire.

“People, when it wasn’t illegal, would be texting and driving near the steering wheel. Now that it’s illegal they drop it to their lap. As a consequence it’s even more dangerous,” Cox said.

Sorohan said police are also not enthused about enforcement because pulling texting records to make a case is a painstaking process.

She said parents can use the device in concert with setting a good example at home. “They need to put their phone away as soon as they get in the car. That needs to the rule,” Sorohan said.

To see the story, visit WSB-TV’s site: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/device-keeps-people-texting-and-driving/nPGGr/

Some New Gadgets On The Market

By Deborah Porterfield – USA TODAY

This weekly roundup takes a look at the practical and sometimes quirky aspects of tech products.

Device blocks texting in the car

Worried about your teen driver texting while driving? With cellControl, you can go beyond the usual safety lectures. The Bluetooth device, which can be plugged into a car’s on-board diagnostic system, keeps drivers from texting, e-mailing or making phone calls while the car is moving. If someone tries to remove or deactivate the device, it can be programmed to e-mail or text you. The device from Scosche costs about $130.

www.scosche.com

For the complete article, go to: http://www.dailycomet.com/article/20120524/WIRE/120529845/1008?Title=Some-new-gadgets-on-the-market

“My Kid Would Never Do That: Driving” – Dateline NBC

Think YOUR kids would never use their cellphone while driving?  So did these parents! Their teens drove, distracted, even KNOWING that they had DriveCam watching them!

Take a few minutes to watch Dateline NBC’s powerful story – “My Kid Would Never Do That: Driving”!!!!

 

 

Tech To Prevent Driver Distraction – Connected World Magazine

Tech to Prevent Driver Distraction

4/12/2012

 


By now, you’re aware that it’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and that distracted driving is indeed a problem. But in addition to spreading the word about the dangers of irresponsibly using devices while behind the wheel, what can really be done to make a difference? Bans? Not likely. Higher fines and steeper penalties? Maybe. How about using technology?

It may seem contradictory to develop technologies that help keep us safe behind the wheel, when many believe technology being used in vehicles is to blame for the increase in distracted-driving-related incidents during the past few years. However, a number of technology-solution providers aim to offer the tools the public needs to act responsibly, while also acknowledging the permanence of devices and technology in today’s society.


In some cases, smartphone applications use a phone’s accelerometer to determine when a vehicle is in motion, then disable several functions of the driver’s device that can create distraction—such as text messaging. Other solutions, such as the technology by Cellcontrol, www.cellcontrol.com, actually rely on a hardware device plugged into a vehicle’s OBD port.


Cellcontrol recently released a solution that prevents texting, emailing, Web browsing, and phone usage in Class A vehicles such as heavy trucks, buses, and other large vehicles. The technology communicates with a vehicle’s onboard computer to determine when a vehicle is moving, then blocks the use of a mobile device based on a company’s distracted-driving policy. Emergency 911 calls are the exception. Interestingly, the company says its solution uses a patent-pending non-pairing Bluetooth signal to transmit vehicle operating data to the phone and immediately initiate blocking when driving. Cellcontrol’s technology can report on other safety metrics such as driver speed and hard-braking events, as well as efficiency metrics such as mileage and idle times for companies looking for a well-rounded approach to preventing distracted driving. Other solutions with specific target markets in mind include a number of smartphone apps geared toward parents. iGuardianTeen, www.iguardianteen.com, is one such solution for teen drivers.


iGuardianTeen provides parents with realtime driving feedback as their teens are out on the road. The company’s ultimate goal is to help parents keep a closer eye on their teen’s driving behavior while reducing the risk of an accident due to distraction or insufficient driving experience. The app automatically diverts incoming calls directly to voicemail while a vehicle is in motion. It mutes notifications such as rings, dings, and vibrations, so your teen is not even tempted to pick up the phone. (A Parental Emergency Contact feature is an exception.)

Parents receive reports on any calls or texts sent from behind the wheel, in addition to realtime alerts when a teen has gone above a set speed limit or is braking harshly, which can indicate the driver is distracted. The technology can help keep teens accountable, teaching them life-long habits for responsible driving.


During the month of April, The Peggy Smedley Show, www.peggysmedleyshow.com, an Internet talk radio show covering M2M technology and connected devices, will be covering distracted driving, not as an unsolvable problem, but as an issue that needs to be addressed through education and prevention.

On April 17, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will join the show to discuss the ways companies and individuals can work together to stand against distracted driving in all its forms. Tune in each Tuesday 12 p.m. CT during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month to learn more.

This story can be found online at: https://web.archive.org/web/20121027184452/http://connectedworldmag.com/latestNews.aspx?id=NEWS120411081952340