Sprint announces Drive First app to stop distracted driving, expects you to pay $2/month for it
Driving whilst distracted is becoming enough of a problem for our various government agencies to start looking into ways to proactively prevent it, rather than just pass laws against it, but Sprint is being more proactive than most. It's announced an app called Drive First, developed by Location Labs, which won't be available until sometime in the third quarter. The app runs on Android and basically puts your phone into lock-down mode "when driving is detected," automatically sending incoming calls to voicemail, auto-replying to texts that you're unavailable, and preventing you from using much of any applications outside mainstream navigation fare. As always with these apps we're not sure just how they'll differentiate between driving and, say, sitting on a train, and we're guessing they'll be just as effective at locking out those riding shotgun, but for parents worrying about whether Junior is texting when he should be driving home from band practice it could be a good solution. That solution, however, will cost those 'rents $2 per month -- and certainly won't earn them any love from their angsty teen.

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Sprint Introduces New Mobile Solution to Combat Distracted Driving

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), March 22, 2011 - In the lead-up to National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Sprint (NYSE:S) CEO Dan Hesse today announced to attendees at the International CTIA WIRELESS 2011 Show that Sprint later this year will offer Sprint® Drive FirstTM – the wireless carrier's first safe-driving solution to help wireless consumers safely manage their mobile devices and focus on driving while they're behind the wheel.

"As a parent, I am proud that Sprint is offering distracted driving solutions like Sprint Drive First, which effectively helps wireless customers manage their usage, stay safe behind the wheel and focus their attention on driving," Hesse said. "As mobile data usage continues to grow in popularity, Sprint wants to ensure its wireless consumers engage in safe behavior for themselves and others."

Sprint plans to make Drive First available in the third quarter of 2011 on AndroidTM mobile phones for Sprint customers and will require a $2-per-month charge (excluding surcharges and taxes) for each device that utilizes its features.

Created by Location Labs, Sprint Drive First is designed to do the following when driving is detected:

Lock the driver's cell phone screen and redirect calls to voice mail.
Block text-message alerts and auto-respond to the message sender that the driver is currently unavailable.
Allow access to three key contacts and three mobile applications, such as GPS navigation.
Give parents and business administrators Web portal access to configure Drive First for their teens' or employees' mobile devices.
"Location Labs continues to develop best-of-breed personal and family safety services that unlock the power of smart devices for users of all ages," said Location Labs CEO Tasso Roumeliotis. "We are thrilled to partner with Sprint, which is once again showing a real commitment to family and personal safety by offering DriveFirst to Sprint customers."

Attendees at the International CTIA WIRELESS 2011 Show can demo Sprint Drive First and other distracted driving solutions at the "Sprint Innovation Station" in the exhibitor hall.

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and along with Sprint Drive First, Sprint will introduce a new interactive distracted-driving pledge that Sprint customers will be able to access online.

Since 2005, Sprint has advocated on behalf of its customers and employees on the dangers of distracted driving and worked with schools, nonprofit organizations and product developers to combat texting while driving. Sprint also has been an advocate for its employee pledge to not text and drive.

Sprint recently participated in an episode of ABC's Extreme Makeover:Home Edition (Sundays, 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT) that focused on distracted driving – donating more than $100,000 in mobile devices, wireless service and a monetary contribution to the Brown family of Wellman, Texas, in connection with the Remember Alex Brown Foundation.

More information on Sprint's distracted driving efforts can be found at sprint.com/focusondriving. At this site visitors can access a database of useful distracted-driving mobile applications, and find other helpful resources on responsible driving behavior.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 49.9 million customers at the end of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation's greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

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Sprint announces Drive First app to stop distracted driving, expects you to pay $2/month for it