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 Partners with PURE Insurance to Offer Free Distracted Driving Technology to Members

Partnership Will Offer Members with Teen Drivers One-Year Free Subscription to Cellcontrol Technology in Effort to Curb Distracting Driving

June 12, 2012, 2:43 p.m. EDT

BATON ROUGE, La., Jun 12, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) —
Cellcontrol, the leading developer of distracted driving solutions, announced today the launch of a first-of-its-kind program with specialist member-owned insurer Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE) to help prevent distracted driving incidents caused by teenage drivers. As part of the pilot program, PURE has offered complimentary devices and a full year’s subscription to Cellcontrol’s technology to drivers under the age of 18, and will be providing the technology at a discounted rates to the entire PURE membership. Not only will policy holders have free or discounted access to the Cellcontrol technology, PURE has also announced plans to introduce discounts for youthful drivers who use a cell phone-blocking device.

“Involving insurance providers in the fight against distracted driving is crucial to long term safety of American drivers and we applaud PURE for being a pioneer by offering free technology and premium credits to their members that employ distracted driving solutions,” said Chuck Cox, senior vice president at Cellcontrol. “It’s an unfortunate reality that sometimes safety alone is not enough to motivate drivers to utilize a technology solution to prevent distracted driving. Programs like the one we have developed with PURE provide extra incentive for drivers to use a distracted driving solution, which will result in safer roads across the country.”

How Cellcontrol Works

The Cellcontrol device plugs into on board diagnostics (OBD) port in a vehicle to disable mobile devices while the user is driving including cell phones, laptops, and tablets. The device works in conjunction with an application loaded onto the mobile device. Unlike other solutions that utilize the GPS function on a smart phone, Cellcontrol does not produce false positives like disabling a phone while user is traveling on a subway because it only engages when the user’s own vehicle is in motion. Cellcontrol also offers the only available solution for feature phones, or non-smart phones, which allows for a wider user base and ultimately saves more lives.

About Cellcontrol

Cellcontrol, based in Baton Rouge, La., is the most accurate, reliable and enforceable solution for to stop distracted driving caused by cellular phones and other mobile devices. For more information, go to

About PURE

For promotional purposes, PURE refers to the members of the PURE Group of Insurance Companies. PURE Group is rated “A-” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company. Insurance coverage is underwritten through Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange, a Florida-domiciled reciprocal insurance exchange and member of the PURE Group. PURE provides coverage for high-value homes, automobiles, jewelry, art, personal liability and watercraft to more than 14,000 successful families in 35 markets across the U.S. and is committed to helping its members (policyholders) reduce the price of insurance today while controlling their long-term cost of risk. In return for a fee, PURE Risk Management, LLC acts as Attorney-in-Fact for PURE. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Cellcontrol

As Part of PURE Promise(TM), PURE Provides Services to Help Members, Youthful Drivers, Lower Risk of Distracted Driving

June 12, 2012, 10:00 a.m. EDT

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., June 12, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ —

Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE), the member-owned property/casualty insurer dedicated to serving the needs of responsible owners of high-value homes, today announced a plan to help members (policyholders) avoid losses related to distracted driving. As part of the PURE Promise, the insurer’s risk management philosophy, this new program is aimed at helping members lower their long-term cost of insurance by providing parents with resources to help young drivers in their household form smart, safe driving habits.

“The PURE Promise embodies PURE’s ongoing commitment to helping our members reduce their long-term cost of risk, by working to identify common causes of loss, then providing resources and investing in proven methods to mitigate against those risks,” said Martin Hartley, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of PURE. “As car accidents rank as the number one killer of teenagers in the U.S., and distracted driving contributes to more than 25% of all auto accidents, PURE is acting on our commitment by offering a number of tools geared at helping our members and their youthful drivers stay safe behind the wheel.”

Empowering Parents to Engage with Teens PURE’s Member Advice Center, accessible through, offers tips and advice for members, as well as a Parent/Teen Driver Agreement that outlines specific behavior that young drivers should engage in and refrain from while operating a vehicle. “Parents play a huge role in influencing the types of drivers their children become, and are the first line of defense when it comes to instilling safe habits in young drivers,” said Hartley. “Our goal is to facilitate constructive, educational conversations between our members and their young drivers about the real dangers they face as drivers and as passengers.”

Curbing the Urge to Call, Text, Email and Surf the Web In an effort to help members cut down on distracted driving, PURE’s Risk Management team has researched and road tested a number of products that aim to eliminate the use of a cell phone while driving, and is pleased to announce a partnership with Cellcontrol. As part of their efforts to contribute to the cost of preventing losses, PURE has offered Cellcontrol devices at a discounted rate to all members, and, to encourage parents to promote safe driving habits among their teens, has provided 100 drivers under the age of 18 with a complimentary device and full year’s subscription to Cellcontrol’s service. In keeping with the company’s commitment to reward responsibility and proactive loss prevention with savings and premium credits, PURE has also announced plans to introduce discounts for youthful drivers who use a cell phone-blocking device.

Hands-on Experience in a Controlled Environment PURE has also introduced a Young Driver Training Program, facilitated through a partnership with the BMW Performance Driving Center. Beginning in fall 2012, PURE members and their teen drivers will have the opportunity to visit the state-of-the-art driving course and enroll in the Center’s Teen School. There, from behind the wheel of a current model year BMW, drivers learn from and experience a range of driving conditions designed to simulate real-world situations, from panic stops to loss of tire grip during a wet skid. Certified instructors provide feedback to correct driving responses and better equip young drivers to face the challenges of the road.

About PURE For promotional purposes, PURE refers to the members of the PURE Group of Insurance Companies. PURE Group is rated “A-” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company. Insurance coverage is underwritten through Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange, a Florida-domiciled reciprocal insurance exchange and member of the PURE Group. PURE provides coverage for high-value homes, automobiles, jewelry, art, personal liability and watercraft to more than 14,000 successful families in 35 markets across the U.S. and is committed to helping its members (policyholders) reduce the price of insurance today while controlling their long-term cost of risk. In return for a fee, PURE Risk Management, LLC acts as Attorney-in-Fact for PURE. For more information, visit

Interviews with PURE’s executives, agents and members may be coordinated. Copies of the A.M Best Company report are available here.

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 –

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:

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:

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.

For the complete article, go to:

New apps helping parents combat teen texting and driving – Fox 31 Denver

Story by Kim Posey

LONE TREE, Colo. – Max Rubin just got his driver’s license a few weeks ago. He’s enjoying his new freedom and trying to limit his distractions, like his cell phone and text messages.

“It’s really tempting to see what (the message) about or who it’s from, but you can wait five minutes to pick it up or you can risk hurting somebody or yourself by looking at it,” Max said.

Under Colorado law, drivers under 18 are not allowed to talk on the phone, and texting is illegal for everyone.  But it happens, sometimes with deadly consequences.

But now there is a way to fight technology, with technology.  A wide variety of new smart phone apps are available which lock your phone while you are driving so you can’t text, call, email, surf the web or update your Facebook page.

Michelle Rubin, Max’s mom, is considering one of the apps for Max and agreed to test one for us.

“I think every parent needs to consider it for a young driver,” Michelle told us.

The family installed a Cellcontrol transmitter on their car, and installed the cell control app on Max’s phone.  When the car is in motion, the phone becomes disabled.

“It won’t let me do anything,” Max said.

Incoming texts don’t appear. Calls go straight to voicemail, and Max’s driving is uninterrupted.

Drivers are able to make emergency calls and they can customize the plan to allow for things like music.

“It’s definitely a good idea,” Max said.

There are several other apps that don’t require a transmitter on your car.  Instead, they rely on the GPS in your phone to calculate your speed while you are driving. At a certain speed, the phone shuts down.

People using the txtBlocker app will see a certain screen while driving. Callers receive a message that says “Hi- Thanks for the Call.  I’m driving or in an area where mobile use isn’t allowed.  Get back to you as soon as possible.”

Unfortunately, some users complain apps which rely on the phone’s GPS run down the battery on the phone.  Plus those apps can only tell when you are moving, not when you are driving, so they shut down the phone even when you are a passenger in a car, bus or light rail.

The Rubins are weighing their options.

“I think as a parent you’re obligated to at least consider doing something,” Michelle said.

Some of the available apps include txtBlocker, CellSafety, iZup, Zoomsafer, and Cell Control.  Most have monthly fees.  You can check to see which ones will work on your phone.

 To see the video/story go to:

“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”!!!!