Phone Signal Scanners to Remind Drivers Not to Call-and-Drive

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New road signs which can spot when you're using your mobile phone while driving are being tested in the United Kingdom.

Officials admit that it can not detect whether a driver or their passenger is using a phone and the warning sign may therefore flash even if no offence is being committed.

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

"We are delighted to have been able to partner with Westcotec to trial this new technology across Norfolk".

The sign, which for the next four weeks will be at Holt Road, Norwich, is able to identify what type of signal is being transmitted or received by the handset and whether it is being used via the vehicle's Bluetooth system.

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.

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

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"Whilst this is still not a ideal science, the new generation of sign is significantly more accurate and reliable than the first".

However, the county council told the BBC that setting up the system to record specific number plates could be a "future development", and that statistics from the devices will be shared with Norfolk Police.

"We will be using the information provided by Norfolk County Council's road safety team to help us target drivers in the future but the message is simple - leave your phone alone whilst you're behind the wheel", said Norfolk roads policing Inspector Jonathan Chapman.

The technology was developed by Norfolk County Council's Road Safety team and vehicle sign technology company Westcotec.

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.

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

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