United Kingdom introduces road signs that detect phone use in cars

14 July, 2018, 12:00 | Author: Sammy Rose

It can detect when a phone is being used in a hands-free system or via Bluetooth, in which case the sign won't be triggered.

The pioneering new roadside detection system is now being tested in Norwich, but if it's successful, it could be rolled out on streets across the globe.

The UK is introducing high-tech road signs to crack down on phone use while driving.

The project, using technology by Westcotec and designed alongside criminologist Dr Helen Wells of Keele University, uses a sensor detecting vehicles where there are active 2G, 3G and 4G phone signals, and an LED warning sign located a short distance along the road.

It can't tell whether the driver or a passenger is using the phone, but authorities hope it will give drivers a reminder of safety concerns.

Mr Spinks said: "The aim of the technology is to remind drivers of the law and to get off their phones".

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Although the technology can not record specific number plates, data generated from the system, including the number of activations and the times of day they take place, will be shared with Norfolk police who might then use it to set up future crackdowns.

Those caught using their mobile phones at the wheel by the police face a £200 fine and six points on their licence, following the introduction of tougher laws a year ago.

Westcotec, who are based in Norfolk, are working with authorities across the world to implement the mobile phone warning technology.

But they could allow police to find out where phones are being used most - perhaps in congestion hotspots - and carry out crackdowns in those areas. "It is the first such system to have a direct interaction with a mobile phone offender". This applies for calls, texts or browsing online.

Road signs capable of detecting the use of a phone - by picking up signals such as bluetooth - are now being rolled out in Norfolk. "Using a mobile phone at the wheel is one of the fatal four road offenses which can have devastating consequences if it causes a fatal or serious collision", Insp.

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