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New Device Limits Cell Phones in Cars

Cellcontrol block phone screen while car is in motion

By Bob Hansen
|  Thursday, Dec 15, 2011  |  Updated 9:23 AM PDT
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New Device Limits Cell Phones in Cars

The device plugs into your car's diagnostic plug.

Federal regulators want to take your phone out of your hand while you're driving your car.   

We could be facing a nationwide crackdown on cell phones, but how do you stop people from talking or texting when they're behind the wheel?

A growing number of companies are popping up that are working on that, and Cellcontrol is one of those companies. They use a system that blocks your screen when your car is moving.

You plug in a small device into your car's diagnostic plug, and then you are able to limit the functions of your phone or your kids’ phones.
   
If you want, it can block everything from talking to texting to email.

Cellcontrol Vice President Chuck Cox explained how it works.

“Plug it in, and it sends a blue tooth signal into the car that signals motion,” said Cox. “Not just power on, but when the car is actually moving.”

While parents warn their kids about using their phones while driving, Cox said it's hard to get them to stop.

“Because we all really strive for connectivity, and we strive to be connected to our friends,” said Cox, “so your mobile phone really becomes an extension of your own personality and yourself and your personal well-being. And so when they get in a car, they still want to stay connected.”

Cellcontrol is not free. The small device that plugs into the car costs $25, and then there is an $8-a-month fee for the service. However, it does work on multiple phones.
   
You can also choose what you want blocked. For instance, no texting when the car is moving, but hands-free talking is okay. Or you can block everything.

One other note: it notifies parents with an instant email if their children try to mess with the plug or the phone.

Cellcontrol is hoping insurance companies will start offering discounts for using a system like this.

What do you think about this new device or the potential ban on cell phone use while driving? Tell us by commenting below, visiting our Facebook page or sending us a tweet on our Twitter @NBCSanDiego.

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