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Mobile phone detectors could catch risky motorists

Norfolk County Council is pioneering mobile phone detection technology to help deal with drivers risking it all to pick up a call. The council has had numerous complaints from residents about the problem, so it's clearly something the area wants and needs.

Nationally, many are sceptical about the idea, suspecting a scheme to extract more revenue from motorists. But with everyone aware of just how dangerous using a phone while driving is, isn't it time we got serious?

How does it work?

Right now there's only one detector at work, which is being tested in a series of areas. Using a signal detector to sense when a phone is in use, it triggers a flashing warning sign by the side of the road - like those SLOW DOWN signs you get in low-speed zones.

There are no fines in place yet, so this is more about awareness. We often convince ourselves we're doing nothing wrong until someone calls us out on it - on the road more than anywhere.

But what about..?

Yep, there are a few issues. The biggest being that the detector can't tell whether the phone is being used by the driver or a passenger. While this remains an exercise in awareness, that's OK. But if the technology is eventually used to issue fines, like speed cameras, its limitations will have to be addressed.

Mobile phone use is the subject that drivers complain about most in other drivers and they want us to do something about it.

Iain Templeton
Norfolk County Council

Take a look at what our survey of young drivers found out about distracted driving.


Honor Clement-Hayes

By Honor Clement-Hayes

Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .

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ingenie is a car insurance brand for young drivers aged 17-25. We fit a black box in your car to assess your driving style. We'll review your policy 3 times a year and those who drive well could receive a discount.

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