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New road signs scold drivers using a mobile phone

Don’t dial and drive!

We don’t need to preach to you about the dangers of using a mobile phone when you drive. Having a mobile, or even a sat nav, in your hands when you’re behind the wheel is illegal. Despite this fact, there are some drivers out there who ignore the law and think nothing of picking up the phone when they’re on the road.

Well, there’s a brand-new system that may help to conquer that problem. The roadside technology will detect whether a mobile phone is in use in a car when it drives past. While it won’t be able to tell if it’s the driver (or someone else!) using the phone, it will flash up a warning sign to the vehicle. The system is being piloted initially in Norfolk.

What’s more, since it is not illegal to use a hands-free system while you’re driving, the technology will detect whether you’re using one via Bluetooth. However, it will not be able to take footage of the car that passes by and the sign is merely precautionary.

“So many people, by force of habit, can’t resist using their phone,” Chris Spinks, from the firm behind the road signs told the BBC. “The system cannot differentiate between a driver and the passengers on a bus, for example, but this goes some way towards remotely warning drivers that they can be detected using their phone.”

The pilot has only just been launched but after it’s been fully implemented, statistics from the technology will be shared with the local police. In the future, the council said that they could adapt the technology to record specific number plates from the cars that pass by. That could mean that more people get penalised for using their phone while they drive.

Of course, this technology is still in its early stages and there’s no telling whether it will be successful in stopping people from dialling and driving.

There’s no doubt that there’s a need for this technology. Last year, the Metro reported that phone use among drivers killed one person every 10 days in 2016. Should the system prove useful in Norfolk, we could see it being rolled out all over the UK in the future.

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