Fleet News

New driver text service raises road safety fears

A NEW text message scheme will allow drivers to contact the drivers of vehicles nearby simply by entering the neighbouring cars' registration numbers in their mobile phones.

But the innovative technology has immediately raised concerns about driver safety if drivers start keying in text messages rather than focusing on the road ahead.

The origin of the scheme was a plan to contact the owners of cars whose alarms might be going off while parked, cars which have been damaged, or those blocking entrances or car parking spaces. However, it will work equally when contacting vehicles on the move.

Drivers can join the scheme by registering at www.textjam.co.uk and can contact other Textjam members by keying in on their mobile phone the car registration number of the vehicle they want to contact.

If the driver of the other vehicle has also registered he or she will receive the message with the only identification of the sender being their registration number.

For the scheme's launch, members will only be able to send short messages, but bosses in charge of the Textjam service believe there are further uses which could help educate drivers about safety and prompt action against bad driving.

Mike Andrews, Textjam research and development manager, said: 'We have been in touch with the Think road safety campaign and hope we can reach an agreement over attaching road safety messages to the texts.'

He added that there could be scope in future for fleet managers to enrol drivers en bloc, and if an allegation of bad driving were made the message would be sent to the fleet manager rather than the driver.

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