Mobile phone warning signs introduced in Norfolk

And a road safety spokesperson tells the BBC the signs may be enough to at least make drivers "think twice" before using their phone while driving.

The signs then flash a symbol of a mobile phone with a line through it to remind drivers not to touch their phones while behind the wheel.

"We are delighted to have been able to partner with Westcotec to trial this new technology across Norfolk".

Westcotec, who are based in Norfolk, are working with authorities across the world to implement the mobile phone warning technology.

Forward-looking: The UK is testing a new roadside system that can identify when drivers are using their mobile phones and show them a warning.

The sign, which for the next four weeks will be at Holt Road, Norwich, is able to identify what type of signal is being transmitted or received by the handset and whether it is being used via the vehicle's Bluetooth system.

Although the signs are unable to log offending number plates, such a feature is being considered for development in the future.

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"We are glad to assist Norfolk County Council in promoting awareness about the dangers of mobile phone use in the vehicle".

"Whilst this is still not a flawless science, the new generation of sign is significantly more accurate and reliable than the first".

Iain Temperton, team manager for road safety at the county council, described it as "cutting-edge technology" which would be used as an "educational tool" throughout Norfolk to try and tackle the problem.

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.

If the signal detected indicates that a mobile phone is being used inside a vehicle, a road sign with a flashing visual message is activated as the vehicle passes to prompt drivers to stop using their phones.

Norfolk roads policing Inspector Jonathan Chapman said the scheme is "welcomed".

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 past year.

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