These road signs keep you and your phone in the eye

Police get cameras that see if someone is behind the wheel. You do not encounter them every day, so whether this will make drivers safer driving is the question. In England they have now come up with something else. In Norfolk, near London drivers will be extra careful with the smartphone in the car. Here a pilot is under way with a system along the road, which can pick up signals from passing smartphones and then give a warning.

Traffic signs

In the traffic signs there is a scanner that can detect radio signals from a telephone when called. When such a signal is received, the traffic sign gives a warning by displaying a flashing prohibition sign with a telephone.

What about hands-free calling or calling via Bluetooth? Then the sign does not give a warning, because the system can detect the difference between radio signals from the smartphone and Bluetooth signals.

Room for improvement

The system on the side of the road is not yet optimal, because it does not know whether the passenger or the driver is using the telephone. Drivers who use the internet on their phone also do not notice the system. This can be even more dangerous than calling behind the wheel, since you have the eyes of the road there.

Despite these limitations, the system is primarily intended to alert drivers to their telephone use. For many people this is a habit and a warning can break it. The warning is a reminder to drivers that they have to pay attention on the road and not on the phone.