Mobile phone-detecting road signs launched on United Kingdom highways

Over the years, the United Kingdom has really cracked down on the use of mobile phones while driving.

Chris Spinks, Specialist Product Sales, Westcotec "being a local company we're delighted to be able to trial this technology first within Norfolk, we've worked very closely with the road safety team at Norfolk County Council to get to this position and are glad that we're able to assist them in promoting awareness about the dangers of mobile phone use in the car". It was claimed that the technology, which is initially being introduced in Norfolk, could be adapted as part of a system to catch and fine motorists, although this is not possible at present.

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. A study in 2016 found that nearly a third of motorists admitted to making phone calls, sending texts, posting on social media...

Officials have worked with Dereham company Westcotec to develop the system which will flash a warning signal to drivers, similar to those for speeding, if a phone is being used in the auto.

The sign is meant to act as a deterrent, by shaming perpetrators, but does not record footage or number plates.

The signs are able to detect digital signals being transmitted by a handset inside a vehicle, whether you're on a call, sending a text or just browsing online.

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

Although the signs are unable to log offending number plates, such a feature is being considered for development in the future. There is also no facility for the signs to record footage.

For now, a counter will keep track of phone usage on the road to help authorities understand driver habits.

He said: 'The aim of the technology is to remind drivers of the law and to get off their phones'.

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

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