Device runs shotgun for parents, notifies of cell phone use & speeding

sentinelVRM Telematics introduced Sentinel for cars that detects and reports cellphone use while driving. It was created to help parents of younger drivers to enforce safe driving behavior.

When a parent is in the car the young driver doesn’t use his or her cell phone. With Sentinel, parents know immediately if their children are talking or texting while driving; where they are, even how fast they are going. More importantly, their teenagers will know that they’ll know.

The Sentinel website claims “Sentinel will ride shotgun for you. You know that your child will not engage in illegal behavior in your presence.”

VRM Telematics’ Sentinel, reports cellphone use while a vehicle is in motion. Once installed in a car by connecting it to the OBDII pot, it senses and reports cellphone activity to an online Sentinel account, which then notifies parents in real time via email or text message.The device can also detect speeding and the time and location of unauthorized vehicle.

Unlike mobile phone Apps, which monitor activity only of the phone on which they’re installed, Sentinel tracks all cellphone use inside the car: issuing event reports that include vehicle speed, time and location.

The Sentinel device costs $249 with a $24.99 a month monitoring. The setup fee of $49 is waived.

Cellphones must be put in airplane mode

Teen drivers can still listen to music through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi but not through a live Internet connection.

The National Safety Council reports that texting while driving increases the risk of auto crashes by up to 23 times.