A Claiborne County man has come up with an invention to make it easier to resist the temptation to text behind the wheel.
He and his wife Cledis will celebrate 60 years of marriage next month.
"My wife and I, she raised the kids and I raised the churches you know," Claude Chumley said.
He is a semi-retired baptist preacher living in New Tazewell. He served during the Korean War, later survived cancer, and then prayed for direction.
"I was feeling pretty good and I was praying for a little church maybe that I could go and help and the Lord didn't give me a church, He gave me a Wal-mart," he said.
He was working as a greeter at Wal-mart when separate items in the electronics department inspired him to invent a device he calls the Safety Bubble.
"That's what I have the patent on, the Safety Bubble," he said.
His drawings show how it's installed in a car, wired to the ignition so it is on when the car is on. It blocks incoming and outgoing calls and texts.
"This thing will emit a one meter signal. That's 39 inches. And that places the driver in an electronic bubble," he explained.
Claude Chumley said a news story about a teen in Texas convinced him to go forward with the idea.
"She wrecked a pickup truck. It rolled I believe they said five times and she was dead of course. And she was texting. And it broke my heart," he said.
Claiborne County Sheriff David Ray considers him a friend but his opinion about the Safety Bubble is purely professional.
"I believe it's something that would save lives," Sheriff Ray said.
Chumley has a patent but he needs an investor to help with a prototype.
Ray said, "To have a mind is such that Mr. Chumley has at his age. But now, he's just a little over 50."
Well, just a little. The inventor is 80 years old.
"As long as God leaves you here in this world he's got a use for you," he said.
He's spent his life saving souls and now he's looking forward to saving lives.
"It is going to save lives in Claiborne County or LA or New York or Dallas, Texas. Wherever this product is installed it's going to save lives if people are texting," Ray said.
Chumley said, "The Bible says everything good, every good and perfect gift comes from God. This is a good gift. And I believe it will be saving lives long after I've been forgotten."