Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

Road Signs Will Warn Drivers Who Are Using Their Phones

Road Signs Will Warn Drivers Who Are Using Their Phones

The county is introducing road signs that use scanners to electronically detect the radio signals transmitted when mobile phones are connected to a call-and then flash a symbol (on a sign further down the road) showing a cellphone with a line through it to the offending driver to remind him or her such behavior is a no-no.

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

The system, which is being installed in a bid to crack down on mobile phone usage behind the wheel, can tell when an active phone call is being made and flash up a red warning signal to drivers when it detects a call. A study in 2016 found that nearly a third of motorists admitted to making phone calls, sending texts, posting on social media...

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

Norfolk County Council's road safety team have worked with speed and warning sign specialists Westcotec on deploying the next-level signs, which are a first for United Kingdom roads.

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

However, the it 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 in those circumstances.

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"We are delighted to have been able to partner with Westcotec to trial this new technology across Norfolk".

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

"Hopefully, as time goes on it will become as socially unacceptable as drink driving".

"Using a 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".

Insp Jonathan Chapman, of Norfolk Roads Policing unit, said: "Any scheme which prevents this kind of behaviour is welcomed".

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

After its launch on Holt Road, Norwich, the equipment will then move on to Cromer Road in Holt, Shipdham Road in Toftwood and Norwich Road in Attleborough.

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