Norfolk County Council has become the first local authority to trial mobile phone detection technology in order to improve road safety.
The new system, which was developed by the Norfolk company Westcotec, will be used to identify mobile phone use from within a vehicle before activating a sign urging the driver to hang up.
‘Using a mobile phone whilst driving is an enormous distraction and apart from being illegal puts the lives of the driver, passengers and pedestrians at risk,’ said Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of the council’s communities committee.
Diane Steiner, deputy director of Public Health, commented: ‘Our priority in public health is to make Norfolk a healthy and safe place to live and the new technology enables us to provide a reminder to drivers who may be using their handset whilst driving.
‘Whilst this is still not a perfect science, the new generation of sign is significantly more accurate and reliable than the first.’
There is no facility to record specific number plates at the moment, although the council said this was likely to be a future development.