Heads Up, Kids: New Device Disables Your Phone While You’re Driving

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Parents, don’t show this to your kids; kids, don’t show this to your parents. I certainly don’t want to get in the middle of it, but I have a duty to report about gadgets – even joykillers/lifesavers like this one.

We’re looking at the Scosche CellControl, a $130 apparatus that plugs into a car’s OBD-II port (if you have a 1996 or later model car, you have an OBD-II port) that senses when the vehicle is in motion and, if so, more or less disables the driver’s phone.

(MORE: Should We Ban Apple’s Siri While Driving?)

E-mail, texting, phone calls, web access, the camera and more – they’ll all be rendered useless once the car is in motion. However, music-playing apps and the ability to make and take calls using a hands-free headset will remain unaffected, so there’s that.

Fortunately for kids (unfortunately for parents), the system doesn’t work with the ever-popular iPhone. Unfortunately for kids (fortunately for parents), the system works for any relatively current Android phone and BlackBerry phones. Fortunately for us all, the system will probably result in safer driving habits no matter who’s behind the wheel.

Setup involves installing the device in your car, which should take all of two seconds, and installing an app on the phone you want to disable when the car is in motion. That might be a bit tricky if you have an uppity child, but feel free to pull out the old “MY HOUSE, MY RULES!” or the “YOUR CAR IS A PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT!” standbys that echoed their way through the Aamoth household in the mid-’90s.

I would have, of course, looked for ways to circumvent such a system, though Scosche attempts to head such enterprising hacking off at the pass by e-mailing an administrator (that’s you, parents, so don’t ask your kid to set it up) whenever the device has been removed from the car.

As mentioned, the Scosche CellControl costs $130. It’s available now. And kids, your parents are just looking out for you. They worry. Keep in mind that once they hit their ’70s, you’ll want to install a similar device in their car, too. Trust me.

cellCONTROL – Safe Driving System for Cell Phones [Scosche]

(MORE: Traffic App by MIT and Princeton Could Change Driving Forever)