Mobile phone-detecting road signs launched on United Kingdom highways

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

Road signs capable of detecting the use of a phone - by picking up signals such as bluetooth - are now being rolled out in Norfolk.

The new system comprises a sensor capable of detecting vehicles where there are active 2G, 3G and 4G phone signals.

In an attempt to crack down on careless driving, the signs will flash up a red warning signal to alert reckless drivers that they've been rumbled.

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". 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.

If phone use is detected, a "no mobiles" image made of LEDs is lit up by the roadside.

A new road sign that detects and warns drivers against using their mobile phone behind the wheel is being piloted in the United Kingdom from this week.

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Westcotec, who are based in Dereham, Norfolk, are working with authorities across the world - including those in Argentina, Slovenia and New Zealand - to implement the mobile phone warning technology.

The technology can not log number plates or be used to catch offenders yet, but these advancements are being considered for the future and it is hoped the current system will act as a deterrent.

More signs are deployed to other towns across the country from next month.

Iain Temperton, team manager for road safety at the county council, described the technology as "cutting-edge" and said it would be used an "educational tool" throughout Norfolk to tackle the problem.

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

If the signal detected indicates that a mobile phone is being used inside a vehicle, a road sign with a flashing visual message is activated as the vehicle passes to prompt drivers to stop using their phones.

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