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Great Hang Up: Website takes on texting & driving

11:41 AM, Dec 5, 2011   |    comments
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Parents set down rules for their children--and expect them to be followed.   For many, one might be "no cell phones while driving."  But how can you make sure your children follow the rules?  A new website could give parents some extra eyes on the road.

Gotcaughttxting.com is the brainchild of Ken Krizen and Pat McCallister--friends who are both in the construction business.  It encourages drivers to serve as whistle blowers when they see someone texting and driving.

The idea for the website started when Krizen was driving in Sarasota.  "I was driving to pick up my daughter for an after school fucntion," said Krizen. "Inside half a mile I got ran off the road by people texting and driving."

Krizen and McCallister got to thinking: what if people could report texters they see on the road?  The result is their recently-inaugurated website.

"We were looking for a way to report texters and drivers when we see them on the highway. And then as we started to grow and develop the website further we realized that we could provide a service...for members," explained McCallister. "We could provide them a list of the people they want to monitor."

For $5 a month, members can register up to four license plates with gotcaughttxting.com.  They'll get alerts if someone on their list is caught texting.

Reporting a license plate is free--but Krizen & McCallister don't want anyone to do it while they're driving.  They suggest quickly writing down the plate or have a passenger do it--then reporting it later.

They hope to share their reports with lawmakers in Tallahassee as a way to press for a texting ban in Florida.  But ultimately, they just want to make our roads safer.

"If it doesn't become a law, then we at least hope this system will start to make texting and driving fatalities and rates drop lower.  Because you don't want to show up in our system--it's bad to be in our system."

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