Texting while driving can be incredibly dangerous and in most countries it is completely outlawed.
That doesn’t stop some thoughtless motorists from trying to compose a message while flying along a motorway, though, increasing the chance of a fatal accident.
But now one company claims to have developed a ‘texting gun’ that can recognise the frequency of a text message, allowing police to fine people for doing it.
In the UK it is illegal to use your phone at all when driving, while the law varies in the US from state to state – most allow phone calls but no texting.
Drivers caught using a phone in the UK can be charged up to £1,000 ($1,640) and also lose their license – although hands-free kits and sat navs are allowed.
These inconsistencies can make it difficult for police to work out if a person is being distracted by their phone or not.
This led to Virginia-based CosmSonics to design a gun that can detect frequencies.
The device, called the Sniffer Sleuth II, is currently in production although no release date or price has been announced yet.
According to the Virginian-Pilot, it can discern the different frequencies from a text message, phone call and data transfer. It apparently uses similar technology used by cable repairmen to find where a cable is damaged, who look for transmission ‘leaks’.
For states like Virginia where talking on the phone while driving is legal but texting is not, this could be especially useful.
In addition, the device can apparently even work out which person in the car is texting, so it will not alert police to issue a fine if it spots frequencies from a passenger.
The device has yet to be given legislative approval amid some privacy concerns, but Malcolm MacIntyre of ComSonics told the Virginian-Pilot it was ‘close to production.’