Iowa’s Department of Transportation is planning a new smartphone application that will prevent teenage drivers from texting while driving.
Called “TXTL8R,” the state is currently looking for a high-tech firm to develop the app, which it hopes to deploy next year.
The app would use the phone’s global position system capability to determine movement. If a phone is moving at a certain rate of speed, the phone will not allow the user to send or receive text messages until it slows down.
The department will pick up the cost of the app for the teen drivers. Older drivers will be able to acquire the app but will be charged by a third-party vendor.
Under an Iowa law that took effect in 2010, all motor vehicle drivers are prohibited from text-messaging while driving.
Novice drivers holding a restricted license are also prohibited from using an electronic communication device — including cellphones or an electronic entertainment device — while driving.