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Smart signs shame drivers using phones at the wheel
14 July 2018, 11:56 | Casey Mitchell
Margaret Dewsbury Chairman of Communities Committee said "Using a mobile phone whilst driving is an enormous distraction and apart from being illegal puts the lives of the driver, passengers and pedestrians at risk".
They are now being tested in Norwich but, if successful, could become a common site on streets across the globe.
The UK is introducing high-tech road signs to crack down on phone use while driving.
It can not tell the difference between a driver and a passenger using a phone.
The technology can't record auto registration numbers or issue fines, but the data it does collect will be shared with police to set up potential future crackdowns.
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Norfolk County Council's road safety team have worked with speed and warning sign specialists Westcotec on deploying the next-level signs, which are a first for United Kingdom roads. But Chris Spinks, of the company based in Dereham, said: 'The aim is to remind drivers of the law and to get off their phones'.
Those caught using their mobile phones at the wheel by the police face a £200 fine and six points on their licence, following the introduction of tougher laws past year.
"This device is purely about education, warning drivers and being able to identify when the driver was on the phone", the company says.
In the United States and Australia, laws regulating the use of mobile phones and other electronics by motorists differ from state to state.
But they could allow police to find out where phones are being used most - perhaps in congestion hotspots - and carry out crackdowns in those areas.
Using your phone while driving in the UK? This applies for calls, texts or browsing online.
When the relevant signal is detected indicating that a mobile phone is being used within the vehicle, the road sign is activated as the vehicle passes, giving a specific flashing visual message that will prompt a driver to stop using their phone.
Using a mobile phone at the wheel now carries a punishment of six penalty points and a £200 fine, which was increased from three penalty points and a £100 fine a year ago.
The warning sign shows an illuminated mobile phone icon within a bright red circle and diagonal red line.
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