Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Road Signs Will Warn Drivers Who Are Using Their Phones

The technology detects when a phone is being used to make calls and cannot distinguish between drivers and passengers The technology detects when a phone is being used to make calls and cannot distinguish between drivers and passengersSPENCER PLATT GETTY IMAGES
Katie Ramirez | 11 July, 2018, 09:37

The scanner can pick up both mobile phone radio signals and Bluetooth signals, and differentiates between the two.

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.

The technology can not log number plates or be used to catch offenders yet, but these advancements are being considered for the future and it is hoped the current system will act as a deterrent.

The move comes amid increasing concerns over the risks posed by drivers using mobile phones at the wheel. A study in 2016 found that nearly a third of motorists admitted to making phone calls, sending texts, posting on social media...

The sign, which for the next four weeks will be at Holt Road, Norwich, is able to identify what type of signal is being transmitted or received by the handset and whether it is being used via the vehicle's Bluetooth system.

The new mobile phone detection system, which is launched today, is the first of its kind to be used on roads in the country and can identify mobile phone use from within a vehicle.

More news: Raheem Sterling thanks England fans after reaching 'dream' World Cup semi-final

Officials admit that it can not detect whether a driver or their passenger is using a phone and the warning sign may therefore flash even if no offence is being committed.

This scheme is a good example of how we can work with local authorities to make using a mobile phone whilst driving as socially unacceptable as drink or drug-driving.

Chris Spinks, of Westcotec the firm behind it and former head of roads policing in Norfolk, said: "So many people, by force of habit, can't resist using their phone". Using a mobile phone at the wheel is one of the fatal four road offences which can have devastating consequences if it causes a fatal or serious collision.

Jonathan Chapman, inspector of the Norfolk Roads Policing Unit said: "We will be using the information to help us target drivers in the future but the message is simple - leave your phone alone whilst you're behind the wheel".

Although the signs are unable to log offending number plates, such a feature is being considered for development in the future.

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