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New Device Prevents Texting While Driving

ROANOKE, Va. -- Distracted driving is a national epidemic that could have deadly consequences. One company in Virginia has come up with a new technology that could prevent drivers from texting while they're at the wheel.
ROANOKE, Va. -- Distracted driving is a national epidemic that could have deadly consequences. One company in Virginia has come up with a new technology that could prevent drivers from texting while they're at the wheel.

Clay Skelton has been driving with ORIGO for the last nine months.

"I happen to be an authorized user of this car so I put the phone in, and it authenticates the phone and I start the car."

His goal: to take cellphones out of drivers' hands, and put the focus back on the road.    You can still take a hands free call, but the system prevents a driver from texting.

"You know our philosophy at ORIGO is that as long as the phone is in your hands, it's a distraction," Skelton says.

ORIGO plans to sell the product to trucking companies and other businesses with large fleets, but also to parents of young drivers.

"As we go out and talk to fleet managers, and risk managers and CFOs, you know they all think it's great and they want to buy it for their trucks, but they want one for their kid right now," Skelton says.

Sales Director Cheryl Lynch believes the time is right.

"Not only is this a fun project to work on, but a really meaningful one because we can all talk about the problem all day long but until you see people who are really affected by it, you dont realize how important it really is. And if ORIGO takes off, others in the Roanoke Valley will benefit."

ORIGO is going national this week with its new technology, but most of the components were made in Virginia.

"Plastics One just down the street is molding our plastic. Keltech off Plantation Road is making our circuit boards. Corrugated Container down the street is making all of our boxes, so we're excited to have those partners here in the Roanoke Valley," says Skelton.

You can buy the consumer version of ORIGOSafe and have it installed for about
400 dollars.

The company says its e-commerce website will be up this week, and ORIGO will begin shipping its products later this month.


(Joe Dashiell for CBS News)
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