Texting while driving is one of the main dangers facing young people.
Texting while driving is one of the main dangers facing young people.

New app will know if you text and drive

A NEW app designed on the Sunshine Coast will allow worried parents and employers to keep an eye on whether drivers are texting while behind the wheel.

Sunshine Beach mental health worker Rob Walter and Newcastle paramedic Geoff Monohan have created the Make a Pact App.

RELATED: READERS SAY- TAKE AWAY MOBILE PHONES FROM THOSE WHO TEXT AND DRIVE 

The idea was sparked when Mr Monohan was complaining about the number of scenes he attended as a paramedic involving people texting or answering calls while driving.

"He said he really wanted to do something about texting and driving," Mr Walter said.

They thought a Make a Pact campaign could help address the issue - and then hired an app designer to create the best program.

"We thought having a pact that you wouldn't text or answer calls while driving would work as if you make a pact, you are more likely to complete it," Mr Walter said.

"Then we decided to do an app which could back it up."

The app, launched two weeks ago, allows people to sign up and "make a pact'" they won't text or answer calls while driving and then share this on social media

The clever technology takes it a step further.

The app automatically detects when a person is driving and instantly diverts phone calls and texts to a message.

It responds to callers with a message saying "I've made a pact not to use my phone while driving and I'll get back to you".

PEACE OF MIND: Rob Walter, one of the men behind the Make A Pact app, believes it will give parents peace of mind.
PEACE OF MIND: Rob Walter, one of the men behind the Make A Pact app, believes it will give parents peace of mind. Contributed

 

The app also collects driver behaviour data which can tell parents or an employer what a driver has been up to behind the wheel through email.

"If the driver makes a text or call while driving, or disables the app, it shows up in the email sent to the supervisor," Mr Walter said.

"It tells the person what the driver has done, what time and where on the route it happened."

He said the app had more features than "anything available in the world". "It doesn't just minimise driver distraction, but collects driver behaviour data to better understand what influences people behind the wheel."

The University of the Sunshine Coast will also do tests on whether the app can make a difference in influencing driver behaviour.

The app costs $2.99 to download through the android devices.

CREATING a fantastic new app with the potential to save lives is one thing - getting it on an Apple device is another.

The Make Pact App creators, Rob Walter and Geoff Monohan have found it incredibly difficult to make their app suitable for purchase on iPhone, iPad or other Apple products.

"Apple policy won't allow an app developer unless it is connected through the carrier," Mr Walter

"We wanted our app to be available through the handset, not the carrier."

The couple have written to Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull and they are "lobbying Apple" in the hopes the changes will be made so their app can go Apple

"We know it's a big ask, but we hope it can happen," he said.

The Daily has written to Apple for information and is waiting for a response.



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