Using a cell phone while driving is convenient, but research has shown that “text messaging while driving creates a crash risk 23 times higher than driving while not distracted.” In Illinois, crashes due to inattentive driving led to a law against the practice in January, 2013.
The following January, the legislature banned all hand-held use, and all cell phone use while in construction or school zones, with fines for violation ranging from $75 to $500 across the state. Police have been issuing tickets in increasing volumes – for example, State Troopers issued 1,222 in the first quarter of 2013 and 3,307 for the same period in 2014. However, the practice continues, in part because police have had difficulty enforcing the ban.
Now those who rely on hand held devices while driving should be on notice: a Virginia company called ConSonics says it is developing a new tool to make police enforcement of the hand-held ban much easier.
ConSonics already provides police with the radar-guns that detect speeding violations. A company spokesman described the new tool as a similar device that would allow police to detect the signature frequencies of text messaging or cell phone use based on the frequencies emanating from a passing car.
The technology is already used by cable repair workers who must find cable damage in walls – for example, where rodents have gnawed through wires, disrupting frequencies. The company says the device is “close to production.”