THOUSAND OAKS ( — More than half of severe crashes involving teenagers are caused by distracted driving, but a new device could force teens to keep their eyes on the road.

The new device, called the Sentinel, picks up cell phone signals that are coming from inside a car. If the Sentinel detects a cell phone being answered or a person is texting, an alarm will sound and an alert text message will also be sent to the parent.

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“It has been found that texting increases the risk of accidents by 23 times,” said Arun Madhav, whose company, VRM Telematics, created the Sentinel.

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The Sentinel will also let a parent know where the car is via GPS, if the car is speeding and if the device has been tampered with.

“It helps reduce the stress a parent experiences when they know their teen is out there on the roadways,” mother Mary Hanawalt said.

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The Sentinel, which costs $249 and comes with a monthly service fee of $25, is set to be released nationwide in June.