New tech spots mobile-using drivers

New tech spots mobile-using drivers

Motorists who use their mobile phones while driving are to be targeted by new technology.

Trailblazing detection apparatus that spots offences as motorists drive past signs is being tested in Sussex.

The device works using a special Vehicle Activated Sign (VAS) and a mobile detector which cannot be set off by pedestrians on their phones.

The sign issues a warning if a vehicle drives by containing an occupant using a mobile phone, as it cannot yet differentiate between a driver and passenger.

The tech is intended to drive behavioural change through alerts and education , as advocated by the RAC, rather than giving out points and fines.

But Thermotor, the technology's creator, says future adaptations would include upgrades to make it possible to solely target the motorist.

It has been illegal to use a mobile phone while driving since 2001.

Motorists face three driving licence penalty points, a £100 fine and likely car insurance premium hikes if caught. Some court cases can even result in driving bans. But the risk of points and fines has not put an end to such dangerous driving behaviours.

Last year an estimated 400,000-plus motorists across Scotland and England were spotted using hand-held mobiles when driving - or 1.6% of the motoring population. Experts believe the real number is much higher, however.

Copyright Press Association 2015