WELLESLEY, Mass. - 17-year-old Katie Cranley just got her driver's license. On this day she's going along for a ride to test new software that parents can put on their kids phones that doesn't allow them to send or receive texts or calls when they drive.
"This is blocked now so I can't call anybody," says Katie.
With news stories every day about the deaths and dangers of using a phone while driving, even Katie believes this is something she can live with.
"I think it would be hard to adjust to at first, but I think it's really worth the effort to try and restrain yourself from calling while on the phone" she said.
Concord, Massachusetts mom Darcy Ahl came up with the idea for izup (pronounced eyes-up) after watching her teen son weave across the road while trying to answer his cell phone.
"I was badly frightened by the experience and found myself wondering out loud if there wasn't some way to keep him and other teenagers off the phone while they were learning to drive," Ahl said.
The phone-freezing software kicks in at 5 mph and doesn't turn off for red lights or traffic. The program even works if one is a passenger instead of a driver.
It does allow calls to 911 or mom and dad.
"If they're not given a choice, if you just say if you want the privileges of driving, you have to have this application on your phone," said Ahl. "I think it's a really good thing."
"The downloadable software starts at $5 a month or $50 a year to use, but the Concord mom's company says it's not just for teens, she's already talking to cities like Boston and companies that might want their employees to have cell phones but not use them while driving."