New road signs can detect mobile phones are being used in vehicles

Image      137 road users were seriously injured in accidents involving mobile phones in 2016

These signs can detect when signals are being transmitted by a mobile telephone inside a vehicle, 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.

The system, which can tell the difference between active phone calls and other activities based on the strength of a signal and how long it lasts, flashes up a red warning signal to drivers when it detects a call.

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.

People using their phones while driving will be getting warning messages if they do so in Norfolk.

The first of three £6,000 electronic signs was yesterday introduced in Norwich, Norfolk.

The technology can not record cars' registration or issue fines, but the data it collects will be shared with Norfolk police to set up potential future crackdowns.

Norfolk County Council's Road Safety team have developed the technology in partnership with vehicle sign technology local company Westcotec.

Road signs that know when a mobile phone is being used in a moving vehicle are being installed in Norfolk, in a bid to tackle usage behind the wheel.

The signs are in place in four locations in Norfolk before being moved on to new sites within the county in a month's time.

Statistics from the devices will be shared with Norfolk Police, the county council said.

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

"Whilst this is still not a ideal science, the new generation of sign is significantly more accurate and reliable than the first".

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

In 2016, figures from the Department for Transport showed that drivers using mobile phones were involved in accidents which killed the equivalent of one person every 10 days in 2016.

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