Police radar could detect texting while driving

We’re all familiar with the radar guns that police use to catch and ticket speeding drivers. But the next stage of that technology is now poised to nab drivers who are engaged in a behavior that’s possibly even more dangerous: texting behind the wheel.

A Virginia-based company called ComSonics is developing a new type of radar gun that can actually detect whether text message radio frequencies are being emitted from passing cars. According to The Virginian-Pilot, ComSonics says the device is “close to production.”

Virginia is one of 44 U.S. states that has a ban on texting while driving.

As the topic of distracted driving continues to gain nationwide attention, ComSonics isn’t the only company attempting to create at technology designed to temper it.

Third-party apps for Android and iOS, like DriveScribe and DriveOFF, detect when your car is moving and will block all incoming notifications on your phone. And an activity-reporting app called Canary can be installed on young drivers’ phones to let parents know when their kids are calling or texting while driving.

Apple itself has been sitting on a filed patent for a “driver handheld computing device lock-out” to keep iPhone owners from texting while on the road. As for when or how exactly this feature would be rolled out to iOS or the company’s new CarPlay system, that’s anyone’s guess.

It’s yet to be determined whether law enforcement in Virginia or anywhere else will adopt ComSonics’ texting-detection gadget. Whether it pans out or doesn’t, the best advice we can give would be to keep your eyes open and on the road. Slow down and put the phone down.

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