Walnut Creek promotes app designed to help distracted drivers

WALNUT CREEK, (KGO) -- One East Bay city is on the cutting edge when it comes to a new smart phone app called EnLighten that's designed to help drivers drive.

Walnut Creek is now promoting a smart phone app city leaders believe will lead to fewer distractions behind the wheel.

The app plays a train whistle sound, which means the light is green. The new app gives drivers audio cues at the city's 100 stoplights.

"Once in a while, you're at a long light, you're thinking about what you're going to make for dinner that night and I'd sure rather my little app gave me a beep than the guy behind me slammed on the horn," said Gayle Vassar of Walnut Creek.

Unlike most cities, Walnut creek runs all its traffic lights out of one centralized system, a brain of sorts, where every light change is monitored and adjusted if necessary.

"We're on the cutting edge of technology and that's why we were selected and we were able to use this application," said Walnut Creek traffic engineer Rafat Raie said.

Some worry the EnLighten app may itself be a distraction.

"It's another thing to be doing while you're driving, instead of driving," said Julie Meade of Walnut Creek.

Walnut Creek officials see it as just the first step in greater integration among tech-savvy drivers, their cars and computers.
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