New app alerts parents when teen driver breaks driving laws - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

New app alerts parents when teen driver breaks driving laws

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

It's the kind of story you see too often: a family broken by just a few seconds of inattention due to a cell phone.

"Statistically speaking, a teenager is more likely to die in 2012 because of this than because of drinking and driving," said Steve Leicht, CEO from 52apps, a group trying to create a cell phone app every week for a year.

On Wednesday morning, an initiative called The Canary Project kicked off at IT-ology in Columbia.

"Many of the programs you've heard of -- Alive at 25, Mothers Against Drunk Driving -- started a lot like this," said Jani Spede.

Made up of several organizations and elected officials, it centers around an app with the same name. Install it on your child's phone, and it alerts you when they exceed a set speed, use their phone when they drive, or go beyond an invisible fence you set up. It's developed by Columbia-based 52apps.

"The goal being when the teenager, when they hear their phone vibrate, ding or make a noise, they won't want to pick it up, because mom and dad will find out about it," said Leicht.

Leicht says it's about starting a discussion. Canary is meant to change behavior, not babysit.

"It's not about being Big Brother; it's opening dialog, it's the communication, it's allowing us to change behavior by having an impact on our young adults," said Brooke Russell

The project will also work to push for anti-texting legislation, create driver training courses, and launch public service announcements. The app, though, is available now in Apple's App Store and the Google Play store. It's free for a week, but after that, it's $7.99 a month. 

Having tested it among the developers, Leicht says it works.

"If Bill was speeding, my phone would start dinging and dinging and dinging, and if Chris was texting and driving, my phone would ding," said Leicht. "What we discovered is, the fact that other people know, gets you to stop doing it."

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Amid anti-immigrant sentiment, some Spanish speakers wary

    Amid anti-immigrant sentiment, some Spanish speakers wary

    Saturday, May 26 2018 2:14 PM EDT2018-05-26 18:14:01 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 7:45 PM EDT2018-05-26 23:45:02 GMT
    (AP Photo/Chris Carlson). Lilly Mucarsel, a native of Ecuador, poses for a picture in her office Friday, May 25, 2018, in Tustin, Calif. Mucarsel, 62, of Southern California finds herself reverting to English when she attends a baseball game or goes to...(AP Photo/Chris Carlson). Lilly Mucarsel, a native of Ecuador, poses for a picture in her office Friday, May 25, 2018, in Tustin, Calif. Mucarsel, 62, of Southern California finds herself reverting to English when she attends a baseball game or goes to...

    The Trump administration's harsh rhetoric and tougher policies toward immigrants have made some Spanish speakers self-conscious about speaking other languages in public.

    More >>

    The Trump administration's harsh rhetoric and tougher policies toward immigrants have made some Spanish speakers self-conscious about speaking other languages in public.

    More >>
  • More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

    More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

    Saturday, May 26 2018 9:33 AM EDT2018-05-26 13:33:35 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 7:44 PM EDT2018-05-26 23:44:28 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File). FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court in Washington is seen at sunset. A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through the courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File). FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court in Washington is seen at sunset. A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through the courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the...

    A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and that'll continue, no matter what the Supreme Court decides in the case of a baker who wouldn't create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

    More >>

    A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and that'll continue, no matter what the Supreme Court decides in the case of a baker who wouldn't create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

    More >>
  • 'Quiet revolution' leads to abortion rights win in Ireland

    'Quiet revolution' leads to abortion rights win in Ireland

    Saturday, May 26 2018 2:43 AM EDT2018-05-26 06:43:19 GMT
    Saturday, May 26 2018 7:35 PM EDT2018-05-26 23:35:04 GMT
    (Niall Carson/PA via AP). A man walks past a mural showing Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old Indian dentist who had sought and been denied an abortion before she died after a miscarriage in a Galway hospital, with the word YES over it, in Dublin, Irel...(Niall Carson/PA via AP). A man walks past a mural showing Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old Indian dentist who had sought and been denied an abortion before she died after a miscarriage in a Galway hospital, with the word YES over it, in Dublin, Irel...
    Official counting is set to begin in Ireland's historic abortion rights referendum, with two exit polls predicting an overwhelming victory for those seeking to end the country's strict ban.More >>
    Official counting is set to begin in Ireland's historic abortion rights referendum, with two exit polls predicting an overwhelming victory for those seeking to end the country's strict ban.More >>
Powered by Frankly