Those who are habitually hooked on to their mobile phones while driving and whom warnings and punishments cannot deter, can now bank on a technology that can literally shut phones down when the owner is at the wheel.

Researchers at the Stevens Institute of Technology and Rutgers have devised a system that can switch off a driver’s mobile, while not disturbing other passengers in the vehicle.

The device, created by a team led by Chen Stevens, Marco Gruteser and Richard Martin, identifies the phone’s location with the help of its bluetooth and the vehicle’s speakers. The system will determine the phone’s location by analyzing the bluetooth signals from the phone and the acoustic signals from the vehicle’s speakers. If the mobile is traced near the steering wheel then the system shuts it down immediately.

Phone companies currently offer similar facilities based on GPS technology, but in these systems, all mobile phones in the vehicle go off irrespective of who is using it. The new system overcomes this drawback as it allows other passengers to use mobile phones without interruption and blocks only the driver’s phone. The system currently works with 95 percent accuracy.