Driven to distraction 

Florida legislators are trying (again) to prevent distracted driving, but it’s going to be hard for drivers to break the habit.

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Across the I-4 corridor, major corporations like Disney and Darden Restaurants (corporate owner of Red Lobster and Olive Garden) have also implemented policies banning employees with company cellphones from texting while driving.

And then there’s technology that can prevent such activities from occurring. One of the best-known mobile apps in this genre is SafeOnTheMove, produced by Boca Raton’s Options Media Group.

If a phone is moving more than 10 mph, the application automatically disables texting, emailing, surfing the Web and instant messaging. It also sends a text message to the administrator of the phone (it can be an employer but it often will be a parent) when the phone has gone over a certain speed limit.

There have been similar apps, but a team of engineers at Anna University of Technology in India has gone one better, using radio-frequency identification to detect if a car is in motion. The system then sends a low-range mobile jammer to prevent the driver’s phone from operating. It can also notify police when a driver is trying to use a phone while behind the wheel.

But experts say technology won’t save us from ourselves. They say that only education and a profound change in habits will wean drivers from their addiction to distraction.

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