Communications

U.K. Testing Warning System for Drivers Using Phones

11 July 2018

Source: Norfolk County CouncilSource: Norfolk County CouncilA scheme designed to curb the number of drivers using their phones is currently underway in the U.K.

With a handful of testing sites located throughout Norfolk, the roadside system detects radio waves from a phone headset from inside the vehicle, which triggers a warning image of a phone with a red line crossing through it.

Although the system can’t distinguish between whether the driver or the passenger is using the phone, officials hope that the warning will serve as a reminder to drivers to pay attention to the road and not to their phones.

However, the system can distinguish when a phone is being used via Bluetooth or in some other hands-free design and, as such, will not issue a warning.

Peter Williams, RAC road safety spokesperson, said, "While this new signage is no replacement for a uniformed police officer catching someone in the act, it could be enough to make some drivers think twice — and that has to be a positive step forward. So ironically, just as technology has enabled the problem of drivers using mobile phones illegally, it can also be a big part of the solution in getting people to stop."

Once data from the devices is examined, officials predict that the system might one day be used to collect the license plate numbers of offenders.

To contact the author of this article, email marie.donlon@ieeeglobalspec.com


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