Roanoke Co. Company Hopes to End Distracted Driving

Roanoke Co., VA - A Roanoke County company thinks they have solved a problem that kills thousands of Americans every year: distracted driving.

Just three years old, Origo attributes its success to local partners and key legislation pushed by then Governor Tim Kaine.

There is no shortage of stories involving distracted driving. If the folks behind Origo have their way, it'll be a thing of the past.

Senator Tim Kaine came to Roanoke County to get an idea about a new homegrown product inspired by his legislation making it illegal to text and drive. The legislation passed in 2009.

Clay Skelton says his invention, called OrigoSafe, is an easy way to prevent thousands of deaths every year.

"It's a long time coming and needs to have more teeth in Virginia and the rest of the country and to give the troopers and the sheriff's and the police what they need to enforce that law," Skelton said.

"If you can solve that problem... look, you are helping quality of life. Very, very powerful for the economy, you're helping businesses that rely on driving but you're also creating jobs right here in Roanoke," said Senator Kaine.

While Senator Kaine's legislation put OrigoSafe on the drawing board, Skelton's dream was also contingent on different industries. He needed an electronics company, a plastics company, and a packaging company to back him.

"The first place I looked was on the internet and around the world: Who can mold this plastic? Who can make this circuit board... whatever," Skelton said.

The more Skelton researched, the more he realized the three industries he needed were already in the Roanoke Valley.

"Before you go looking in another state or another country look in your own backyard because you'll be surprised what you find," Skelton said.

Skelton invited the Senator to town to have a look at what the future could bring; vehicles that can only start if the driver's cell phone is securely in place in the OrigoSafe, made in Roanoke, Virginia.

Origo currently has 11 employees, but the company plans to add more as business grows.

The growth could come soon, as Origo has been demonstrating to major trucking companies as well as various branches of the armed forces, including the U.S. Army with upcoming dates with the U.S. Marine Corps.

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