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11-year-old wins $20k for creating app that deters people from texting while driving

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:36PM EST

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A young software developer has created a new application designed to show people who text while driving that they’re barking up the wrong tree. reports that 11-year-old Victoria Walker, with an assist from grown-up software designer David Grau, has designed an app called “Rode Dog” that makes incessant barking sounds at people who are using their smartphones in their car, and it won’t stop barking until they put their phones down. says that the app recently won a $20,000 award from AT&T (T) as part of the carrier’s “It Can Wait” contest that offers prizes for developers who created apps that discourage texting while driving.

As far as functionality goes, the app lets users form groups with their friends to help police one another when it comes to texting and driving. If a friend suspects that someone in their group is sending them a message while in their car, they can order the app to start barking at the texter until he or she drops the phone. The app has been developed for Android, iOS and Windows Phone and is expected to launch later this year.


Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.