New Device Could Prevent Motorists from Using Cell Phones While Driving

Countless studies have confirmed the link between cell phone use and car crashes. One estimate prepared by the Harvard Center of Risk Analysis states that more than 2,600 people die from cell phone-relatd auto accidents.

According to, the United States and Sweden are the only two industrialized nations that do not prohibit cell phone use while driving (though many allow it with a hands-free set). Many states, including Massachusetts, have discussed the possibility of banning drivers from using cell phones on the road. But aside from fining drivers for violating the ban, there seems to be little that law enforcement officials can do to prevent cell phone use.

This gave Fred Wenz, a UPS deliveryman, an idea. Wenze formed Try Safety First LLC with John Fischer and the pair has filed a provisional patent for an owner compliance key (OCK). The device will block the incoming and outgoing radio signal to and from cell phones for a five-foot radius – preventing the person in the driver’s seat from making or receiving calls. The OCK could be used on a secondary set of keys (say, for a teen driver) or on the primary set of keys. The company is in the funding stages.

Hang up and drive,, April 9, 2009
Contact a Boston car accident attorney if you or a family has been injured.

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