Monday, 21 October, 2019

Police unveil new technology to combat drivers illegally using mobile phones

Warning sign driving phone Police detectors to warn mobile phone-using drivers
Sandy Mccarthy | 15 April, 2019, 07:13

The device will also be used to determine areas on the roads which are hotspots for motorists using their phone while behind the wheel.

He was jailed for 10 years after admitting four counts of causing death by risky driving and footage showed him on his phone at the moment of impact.

The system, developed by Westcotec, comprises a sensor capable of detecting vehicles where there are active 2G, 3G and 4G phone signals, and an LED warning sign located a short distance along the road.

Motorists using Bluetooth hands-free kits will not see the signs flash.

There initially will be two detectors - costing £6,000 each - placed on the A34 in Oxfordshire.

A spokesman for the two forces said: "The technology can detect when Bluetooth is being used but cannot detect if a passenger is using the phone, but the sign will still be activated reminding motorists of the distraction of a mobile phone whilst driving".

The introduction of new technology received the support of a campaigner Kate Goldsmith, whose daughter was killed in a road traffic collusion.

The 11-year-old was killed along with her stepbrothers Josh Houghton, 11, Ethan Houghton, 13, and the brothers' mother Tracey Houghton, 45.

Drivers caught using a mobile phone while driving are now fined £200 and given six points on their licence.

"The Joint Operations Unit will continue to educate people of the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving through our "It's Not Worth The Risk" campaign and reduce the devastating impact it can have on people's lives".

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She said Aimee's death was "completely avoidable".

Matt Barber, deputy police and crime commissioner for Thames Valley, told the BBC that the system was "not fool-proof", but said that the police needed to "make it as socially unacceptable to use your mobile whilst driving as it is to drink and drive". They will then be moved between different locations throughout the Thames Valley and Hampshire.

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: 'Driving and using a handheld phone do not mix, it is an incredibly unsafe and distracting combination.

A statement by local authorities that says: "we can see you", to drivers using their phone behind the wheel.

'Research shows us that you are four times more likely to crash if you are using a mobile phone whilst driving, reaction times are around 50 per cent slower than a driver not using a mobile phone, ' she said.

The new campaign has been welcomed by Kate Goldsmith, whose daughter Aimee was tragically killed when a lorry driver crashed into a auto she was traveling in while using his phone to change music.

There can be lethal consequences or the chance of injuring someone are the biggest risk factors with texting and driving, but there are other risks as well.

Rule breakers will get an automatic fixed penalty notice and penalty points on their license, as well as a fine of £200.

Newly qualified drivers could be made to retake their driving test the first time they are caught.

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