Mobile phone warning road signs 'a United Kingdom first'

Joanna Estrada
July 10, 2018

It can detect when a phone is being used in a hands-free system or via Bluetooth, in which case the sign won't be triggered.

Norfolk county council is installing Westcotec's roadside detector on one of the bits of the A140 it oversees, and claims it can pick up the radio signals emitted when someone's connected to a call; using this to illuminate a warning-not-to sign farther down the road.

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.

Although the technology can not record specific number plates, data generated from the system, including the number of activations and the times of day they take place, will be shared with Norfolk police who might then use it to set up future crackdowns.

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.

But they hope the measure will still act as a deterrent to motorists.

"Whilst this is still not a flawless 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".

Mobile phone detection sign in operation on Holt Road, Norwich.

Inspector Jonathan Chapman from Norfolk Roads Policing unit said: "We will be using the information provided by Norfolk County Council's road safety team to help us target drivers in the future but the message is simple - leave your phone alone whilst you're behind the wheel".

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

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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