Iowa DOT: TXTL8R

| September 23, 2013

The Iowa State Department of Transportation plans to launch an app in 2014 called “TXTL8R” as a way to reduce the number of young drivers who text while driving.

Iowa DOT Spokeswoman Andrea Henry says the agency would like to be able to turn off texting availability of phones any time a speed of more than 15 mph is detected, according to a report in USA Today.

According to the report, the Iowa DOT is in the process of choosing a company to create the safety app aimed at teen drivers. The teens’ use of the app would be completely voluntary, according to the report. The plan is for parents to have a portal on a computer to allow them to monitor driving some driving behavior, according to the report.

Henry notes in the report that the app would not be tied to a driver’s license being issued.

There are already text-blocking apps for Android and Blackberry. Apps available for the iPhone don’t block texts. Instead, the iPhone apps warn a potential texter who is traveling more than 12 mph about the local texting-while-driving laws, or it alerts parents when a person is actively texting and driving more than 12 mph, according to the USA Today report.

For a downloadable PDF of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Request for Proposal for the TXTL8R App, click here.

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