AoW #_______ Name _______________
1.) Read the article.
2.) Reread the article. As you reread it, highlight parts that confuse you. Show evidence
of a close reading by marking up the text with questions and/or comments.
3.) Write a two paragraph reflection on your own sheet of paper, and staple your
reflection to this article.
Zap! Texting all gone for teens
By: PEG QUANN
Bucks County Courier Times
A smart phone application prohibits the use of a cell phone for text
messaging while it's in a moving vehicle unless the parent permits it.
To coincide with National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 17-23, a Cherry Hill
company has launched a product to help parents protect young drivers and passengers.
It's called the Text Zapper. A smart phone application, it prohibits the use of a cell
phone for text messaging while it's in a moving vehicle, unless the parent permits it. The
application also allows the parent to track the location of the cell phone.
The product was developed by TMG Systems. The firm's CEO, Joel Magaziner, said
the product "is about saving lives."
A survey of 900 teenagers conducted by Students Against Destructive Decisions and
Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. states that teens ranked texting first as a cause of
distraction while driving. It's illegal in New Jersey and can be deadly.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,500 teens
were killed and 350,000 injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2008. The website,
Intomobile, says 16,141 traffic fatalities from 2001 to 2007 have been attributed to text
Magaziner wants to put a stop to accidents caused by texting teens. The Text
Zapper "disables the temptation," he said.
He also has developed a related device called Teen Trakker, which can be installed
in a car so that a parent knows where the vehicle is. It costs $299, plus $9.99 a month
for monitoring. One businessman bought the device to track his service vehicles.
A single father of teenage sons, Magaziner developed Teen Trakker out of concern
for the safety of his own kids when they're driving. The device uses a GPS to track the
"If the kid says, 'I'm at school,' and he's really at the beach, you know," he said.
NewsHour Extra, an online site for students associated with the Public Broadcasting
System, published a report in 2007 on cell phone tracking services designed for
parents. They are offered by several large telecommunications firms.
Some psychiatrists question whether the services replace dialogue and trust
between parents and children, the report said. Some teens balked at the parental
tracking, while others said they felt more secure knowing their parents knew where they
were, the report said.
Magaziner speaks at parent-teacher meetings about his products and addresses
how to explain their need to teenagers. "If you explain the safety feature, they should
get it," he said. His company is launching the Text Zapper, which takes the Trakker's
GPS technology and applies it to a Smart phone.
Text Zapper costs $4.99 a month per phone, but there are discounts for multiple
phones and yearly subscriptions. It won't permit text messaging in a moving vehicle, but
the parent can override that prohibition if requested by the child, who may be a
passenger instead of the driver. The Text Zapper application can be used on any Smart
phone with the exception of Apple's iPhone.
For $9.99 a month, parents can purchase Text Zapper Plus, which can alert them to
dangerous messages their children may receive - whether about cyber bullying, sexting,
suicide, weapons, guns or drugs - and from what phone the messages have been sent.
"You may monitor a phone if you own it and pay for the service," said Larry Wenger
of TMG Systems in an e-mail response. "For instance, it is perfectly legal to monitor
your children's phone or the phone of an employee or spouse provided that you are the
one paying the bill."
Magaziner said the child using the phone knows the application is applied. "It's not to
stalk the child. That's not the intention," he said. "As a parent you become passionate
about ultimately saving lives."
Answer these two questions below using complete sentences.
1. What text structure does the author use?
2. Who is the intended audience?
Questions to think about as you write your reflection:
(REMEMBER—your reflection is a minimum of two paragraphs on a separate
sheet of paper)
What do you think about this? What is the ultimate goal of the app? How would you
feel if your parents put it on your phone?