Using Your Phone At The Wheel? New Signs Will Catch You Out

Using Your Phone At The Wheel? New Signs Will Catch You Out

Using Your Phone At The Wheel? New Signs Will Catch You Out

Select police forces now a have a new means of catching drivers using their phones. New signs will single out offenders, informing them that they’ve been caught.

How Do They Work?

Authorities have long spoken about how they want the stigma of using phones at the wheel to rival drink-driving. And with good reason. Distractions, especially those caused by phones, cause an enormous amount of accidents every year; some with tragic consequences. Now police in the Thames Valley and Hampshire will have new technology to tackle the problem. They’ll be deploying signs that notify drivers of when they’ve been caught using a phone. Capable of detecting 2G, 3G and 4G signals, they’ll light up and flash when activated. Hands-free devices will cause the sign to activate, but not flash. Each sign costs £6,000 and are currently being trialled in key areas.

What’s The Purpose Of Them?

Police have stressed that the signs will not be used to enforce driving rules. Instead they hope they’ll encourage drivers to avoid the behaviour via ‘education.’ In addition, they hope the signs will highlight the most affected areas and offer further insights into the behaviour. The signs will be moved around over time, allowing officers to develop a ‘map’ of where people are using their phones at the wheel the most.

Fundamentally speaking, the signs are relying on naming-and-shaming tactics. The problem is, they can’t differentiate between when a driver is using their phone or whether it’s a passenger. Similar signs have already been used to single-out speeders, although there seems to be little (or no) data on how effective they’ve been. At £6,000 a sign, it seems like a last-ditch attempt to clamp down on what’s proven to be a stubborn problem.

Despite tougher penalties, information campaigns and tragedy, a depressingly high number of motorists are using their phones at the wheel. What the solution is isn’t clear. But we don’t think it’s flashing signs…

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