Mobile phone warning road signs ‘a UK first’
A roadside system that detects if a mobile phone is in use in a passing vehicle is being piloted in a UK first.
Despite being unable to pick up whether the driver is using the phone, it is hoped it will act as a deterrent to people making calls behind the wheel.
The technology picks up the phone signal in the vehicle and activates a roadside warning sign of a mobile with a red line through it.
Being initially tested in Norfolk, the system cannot record footage.
However, it is designed to pick up whether the phone is being used hands-free or via a vehicle’s Bluetooth system and as a result will not trigger the sign.
Peter Williams, RAC road safety spokesperson, said: “While this new signage is no replacement for a uniformed police officer catching someone in the act, it could be enough to make some drivers think twice – and that has to be a positive step forward.
“So ironically, just as technology has enabled the problem of drivers using mobile phones illegally, it can also be a big part of the solution in getting people to stop.”
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.
Insp Jonathan Chapman, of Norfolk Roads Policing unit, said: “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