Clever car key blocks phone use

A new "clever" car key has been developed that allows parents to block teenagers from talking on mobile phones or texting while driving.

Researchers at the University of Utah in the US hope that their invention could be on the market within six months after they obtained provisional patents and licensed it to a private company.

The system - Key2SafeDriving - would cost around £30 per key, plus a monthly service fee. Once inserted into the ignition, the key sends a wireless signal to the driver's phone to block calls and texts.

The target audience is parents who want their children to drive safely, without the distraction of speaking on the phone or texting.

Xuesong Zhou, one of the device's inventors, commented: "The key to safe driving is to avoid distraction. We want to provide a simple, cost-effective solution to improve driving safety.

"Using our system you can prove that teen drivers are not talking while driving, which can significantly reduce the risk of getting into a car accident."

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