New road signs which can spot when you’re using your mobile phone while driving are being tested in the UK.
The signs are able to detect digital signals being transmitted by a handset inside a vehicle, whether you’re on a call, sending a text or just browsing online.
The signs then flash a symbol of a mobile phone with a line through it to remind drivers not to touch their phones while behind the wheel.
The pioneering new roadside detection system is currently being tested in Norwich, but if it’s successful, it could be rolled out on streets across the globe.
The electronic signs cost £6,000 each and are being trialled in the UK for the first time.
The technology was developed by Norfolk County Council’s Road Safety team and vehicle sign technology company Westcotec.
Although the signs can’t tell whether a driver or passenger is using a handset, it is hoped they will act as a reminder of the dangers of using phones while driving.
The technology can’t record car registration numbers or issue fines, but the data it does collect 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 law enforcement with a general view of where illegal use is most prevalent.
He said: ‘The aim of the technology is to remind drivers of the law and to get off their phones.’
Westcotec, who are based in Norfolk, are working with authorities across the world to implement the mobile phone warning technology.
Using a mobile phone at the wheel is illegal in the UK and can get you a £200 fine and six points on your licence.
Jonathan Chapman, inspector of the Norfolk Roads Policing Unit said: ‘We will be using the information to help us target drivers in the future but the message is simple – leave your phone alone whilst you’re behind the wheel.
‘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.’