Road signs to detect mobile phone usage introduced to UK roads

Using a mobile phone behind the wheel is a major issue when it comes to distracted driving. It has been illegal to use a mobile phone whilst driving since 2003.

Despite this and the fact that tougher penalties were introduced in 2017, people continue to use their phones while driving.

Ways to prevent people using mobile phones while driving

It seems that the risk of causing an accident or the threat of penalty points and a fine simply aren’t enough of a deterrent for everyone.

That is why police forces across the UK are looking at alternative systems to remind drivers of the dangers of using a phone whilst driving.

How do the road signs detecting mobile phones work?

One such system currently being tested in the county of Norfolk is a road sign which can detect when a mobile phone is being used in a vehicle.

The sign scans for the signal emitted when a phone call is being made and if detected, it activates a warning sign. This  shows a mobile phone with a red line through it in a bid to deter the behaviour. Information from the signs will also be shared with the police force in Norfolk and give them useful information about mobile phone usage to help inform future crackdowns.

Can the signs tell the difference between mobile phones and handsfree systems?

With the ability to determine the difference between mobile phone signal and Bluetooth signal, the warning light won’t illuminate if the driver is using a handsfree system to make their phone call.  However, there are some limitations to the signs in their current state.

For example, they can’t determine if it is the driver who is using the phone or a passenger. They also aren’t able to take any recordings of the vehicle involved. This means they can currently only be used as a deterrent as they do not record the evidence required to base a conviction on if mobile usage is detected.

Here at Insure 2 Drive we believe that any attempt at reducing the number of people using their mobile phone behind the wheel has to be a welcome one given the dangers of distracted driving to all road users.


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