Road signs can detect when mobiles are used at the wheel

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

The technology can detect if a driver is using Bluetooth, and will therefore not trigger the warning sign.

The system was developed by Westcotec, a Norfolk-based road traffic technology company.

If they are holding their phone, however, the sign will display a red cross with a handset in the centre.

Drivers using their phones behind the wheel are set to be caught out by new roadside technology being tested in the UK.

It can not tell the difference between a driver and a passenger using a phone.

The technology can not record cars' registration or issue fines, but the data it collects will be shared with police to set up potential future crackdowns.

Chris Spinks, of Westcotec's Sales and Marketing team, said he hoped it could provide police with a general view of where illegal use is most prevalent.

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The digital sign, the first of its kind, uses technology that can detect if a mobile phone is in use in a passing vehicle, the BBC reports.

In a 2016 study, a third of motorists admitted to using a mobile behind the wheel, leading to the introduction of "tougher penalties to tackle the problem" in March a year ago, reports The Sunday Times.

Westcotec also says it can't differentiate between legal calls made by passengers and when it's the driver being a baddie, which is presumably why an advisory road sign is all it offers. Norfolk County Council road safety team will be working closely with the roads policing team to share statistics provided by the detection system.

The road signs work by using a scanner to detect the radio signals emitted when someone in the auto is connected to a call, with this data used to illuminate a sign further down the road.

'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'.

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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