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Road signs can detect when mobiles are used at the wheel

By Emily Mee, news reporter
Road signs that can detect when a mobile phone is being used in a moving vehicle are being installed in Norfolk. 
The system, which is being installed in a bid to crack down on mobile phone usage behind the wheel, can tell when an active phone call is being made and flash up a red warning signal to drivers when it detects a call.
It is able to detect bluetooth signals so that anyone who is legally using hands-free calling will not be wrongly issued a warning.The technology cannot log number plates or be used to catch offenders yet, but these advancements are being considered for the future and it is hoped the current system will act as a deterrent.It is the first system of its kind to be used on roads in the UK and was developed by warning sign specialists Westcotec along with Norfolk County Council's road safety team.According to RAC's Report on Motoring last year, 23% of people admitted to taking a call while driving.
In 2016, figures from the Department for Transport showed that drivers using mobile phones were involved in accidents which killed the equivalent of one person every 10 days in 2016.A further 137 road users were seriously injured in such incidents in the same year.Using a mobile phone at the wheel currently carries a punishment of six penalty points and a €200 fine, which was increased from three penalty points and a €100 fine last year.
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Norfolk roads policing Inspector Jonathan Chapman said the scheme is "welcomed"."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," he said.
news.sky.com
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