Texting ‘radar’ under development

Firm building device to catch texting drivers

A US radar gun manufacturer is developing a hand-held device that will allow police to tell when a driver is sending a text message.

Virginia-based firm ComSonics is working on the basis that there’s a difference in the frequencies sent by phones while texting compared to those making a call, so people making hands-free voice calls won’t be picked up, but those sending texts will.

The firm is reported as saying its device is nearly ready for production, but that there are still legal issues that need to be cleared before it could be used for law enforcement.

While on the face of it the concept seems worthy, there are still several significant issues. Since it’s unlikely to be able to tell the difference between a texting driver and a texting passenger, it could presumably only be used against single-occupant cars. And with increasing numbers of cars (and phones) offering voice-controlled systems, some including the ability to both read-out texts and take hands-free dictation for text messages, we can see some serious problems when it comes to using this sort of technology to secure a conviction.

Still, we'd like to see it happen.