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Police to introduce mobile phone detection warning signs

Author: Sam Allibone

 

Mobile phone detection warning signs will be installed in two regions in England, following successful trials in 2018.

Distracted Driving

Thames Valley and Hampshire will be amongst the first to introduce the new signs, following a successful trial phase in Norfolk last year. The system works by detecting vehicles which have an active 2G, 3G or 4G signal, and then lights up an LED warning sign further up the road.

Drivers using a mobile phone will see a mobile phone icon light up with a red line through it, encased in a red circle. It’s not only drivers seeing these, however – passengers using mobile phones will also trigger the warning, something the manufacturer, Westcotec, has admitted.

Those using a mobile device via the Bluetooth system installed in their car will not set off the sign. The system can detect if the mobile device is being used via a Bluetooth connection, and omits the car.

The detectors cost £6,000 each, and the police aim to place them on the A34 in Oxfordshire, and at varying locations in Thames Valley and Hampshire.

The BBC reported that Matt Barber, deputy police and crime commissioner for Thames Valley, said the system was "not fool-proof", but added the police needed to "make it as socially unacceptable to use your mobile whilst driving as it is to drink and drive".

PC Liz Johnson, a roads safety officer, said research suggested a driver was four times more likely to crash if they were using a phone and twice as likely to be involved in a fatal collision when texting compared with drink-driving.

"It is vital that people take notice and stop using their mobile phones whilst driving," she added.

 

 

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