New technology to detect drivers using phones

New tech to detect when drivers use phone at wheel

Police forces in the Thames Valley and Hampshire are rolling out new technology to aid more proactive targeting of driver mobile phone use.

Data from the devices on how many people used a phone without a hands-free kit will be fed back to Hampshire police and Thames Valley's road policing unit. They were developed for Thames Valley Police by Westcotec Ltd and each camera costs £6000.

"I am supporting this campaign and welcome any technology which can assist in educating people and stop them from using their mobile phones whilst driving", Goldsmith said.

This will happen in a similar vein to how digital road signs in crash hotspots flash to tell drivers to slow down.

"Our technology provides a visual sign to motorists who are using a mobile phone whilst driving without Bluetooth".

The use of detectors will come into force following 15 April.

The device can determine if people are using mobile phones without hands-free kits while driving.

The technology detects when Bluetooth is being used but can't tell if it is the passenger is using the phone - but the sign will still be triggered anyway to advise drivers about the dangers of getting distracted by mobile phone use.

A sign will flash at the driver telling them to stop using their mobile - but the detectors can not tell if it is a driver or passenger using the phone.

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

'In the Thames Valley since 2014 there have been 83 people killed or seriously injured as a result of drivers using their mobile phones and 40 have been killed or seriously injured Hampshire. We will be utilising a bus in order to travel around locations in the Thames Valley and Hampshire to spot motorists breaking the law and using mobile phones.

It follows a successful trial scheme in Norfolk that was announced in July 2018.

Newly qualified drivers can also lose their licence if they're caught driving while using a mobile phone within two years of passing their test.

However, it can not tell whether the driver or a passenger is using the phone, so if a phone is being used anywhere in the auto and is not attached to a Bluetooth device it will flash regardless.

Kroker killed Aimee, her stepbrothers Ethan Houghton, 13, Joshua, 11, and their mother Tracy, 45, when he ploughed into stationary traffic at 50mph on 10 August 2016.

The RAC also welcomed the initiative and said it hoped it would encourage motorists to put their phones down and concentrate fully on driving.

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

"It is also apparent that you are twice as likely to be involved in a fatal collision when texting compared with drink driving".

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