Another excuse for bad driving?

“Sorry officer, I was trying to pick up that blonde in the Miata and I didn’t notice your foot.”

As a transportation engineer with more than a passing interest in road safety, I was surprised today to discover a service that essentially encourages more cell phone use in cars. Not just talking mind you, but SMS-messaging while you drive! Now I don’t know if you can SMS to a central number and just specify the licence plate to get your message out, or if you must go to their Web site to do this, both are easily done with modern phones.

The service is called and allows drivers to register their licence plate numbers so that other drivers can send them messages without knowing their cell phone numbers. I discovered through a ZDnet story that this isn’t even that new, even though in Australia there was already legislation discouraging use of phones while driving (though I don’t know if that covers texting while driving). The number of jurisdictions clamping down on handheld phone use has only increased since that time, but perhaps everyone will have a passenger on hand for this purpose (maybe it will promote carpooling, another of my interests! Ok, maybe not).

What really amused me is that while the ZDnet article (in Oct 2001) talked about the service as a way to vent your road rage, the Web site now seems to be aimed more at the singles market, and I quote:

“I noticed you today in your car… would you like to meet for coffee?”

This is the kind of message Australian DriverSMS subscribers receive on their mobile phones from other drivers.


If you have not yet registered, all messages sent to you by other Australian drivers have been archived since August 2001.

There you have it, finally an easy way to connect with all those people who have lusted after your fine form from the next car over, but didn’t know how to start stalking you. I’m sure the DriverSMS people would be interested in discussing overseas franchises.