By Stephen Markley on April 15, 2009
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)