Innovation That Matters

New app pays for videos of drivers who text


San Francisco startup has launched a software which aims to crack down on drivers texting behind the wheel by offering citizens money for their video evidence.

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The stats for accidents caused by driving and texting at the same time are worrying to say the least. In America alone, it’s estimated some 1.6 million crashes each year are linked to cell phone use, of which 330,000 involve injuries. It’s even said that text driving is more dangerous than drink driving, and a group of entrepreneurs with a background in law enforcement and public health set up Text to Ticket to help combat the problem.

Launched on both iOS and Android, once logged in users will be able to shoot a brief video of the offending drivers, which can then be uploaded to the company’s servers. Providing the user’s video clearly shows the offense and the car’s licence plate, after the video’s been reviewed and approved they’ll get USD 5 for the submission. The software geotags the video so it knows where and when it took place. Text to Ticket will then send it to the local law authorities who’ll proceed with punishing the driver.

It’s currently spreading out through Northern California, and the company is hoping to take it nationwide and eventually at an international level. It’s inviting city councils and law enforcement agencies to contact them with a means to adopting the system.

It sounds like a good idea, but whether or not it will catch on depends on if users are prepared to get involved in law enforcement. Other car-related initiatives designed to keep drivers obeying the law are a Russian hologram that projects an image of a disabled person into a disabled driving parking space, and China has been trying out a number of new ideas such as radio broadcasts and on-the-spot highway code questions. Could your city use a system like this?



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