Mobile phone warning road signs 'a United Kingdom first'

When the system indicates a mobile phone is being used within the vehicle, the road sign is activated as the vehicle passes, prompting the driver to stop using their phone.

These signs can detect when signals are being transmitted by a mobile telephone inside a auto, and then flashes a symbol of a mobile phone with a line through it to remind drivers not to use their handsets while behind the wheel.

However, the system is created to pick up whether the phone is being used hands-free or via a vehicle's Bluetooth system and will not trigger the sign.

Being initially tested in Norfolk, the system can not record footage.

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council's communities committee, said: "Using a mobile phone whilst driving is an enormous distraction and apart from being illegal puts the lives of the driver, passengers and pedestrians at risk".

However, they do not monitor data connections, meaning those using internet services on their phones will not be detected.

The signs have been set up in four locations around Norfolk and will be moved to new sites in a month.

Iain Temperton, team manager for road safety at the county council, described it as "cutting-edge technology" which would be used as an "educational tool" throughout Norfolk to try and tackle the problem.

The council said that enabling the system to record specific number plates could be a "future development" with it.

"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".

"Any scheme which prevents this kind of behaviour is welcomed".

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