Police detectors to warn mobile phone-using drivers

Police detectors to warn mobile phone-using drivers

Police forces in the Thames Valley and Hampshire are rolling out new technology to aid more proactive targeting of driver mobile phone use. Instead, it's aimed at car/van/truck drivers, and that's a very good thing for riders, as distracted drivers are proving to be a greater and greater threat to motorcyclists' safety.

Matt Barber, deputy police and crime commissioner for Thames Valley, told the BBC that the system was "not fool-proof", but said that the police needed to "make it as socially unacceptable to use your mobile whilst driving as it is to drink and drive". The device will scan the 2G, 3G and 4G bandwidths to pick up signals, and through some manner of electronic voodoo, determines if the origin of those signals is moving.

Hampshire and Thames Valley forces have announced that they will be the first to implement the technology on the roads, which will be able to see which vehicles aren't using hands-free systems to interact with their devices.

While the tech cannot bring charges forward against a driver as it can't identify if it's them using a phone or indeed a passenger, it aims to help warn drivers against the use of a phone behind the wheel. The roadside gadget isn't meant to serve an enforcement purpose-it's only supposed to raise awareness, and telling people they shouldn't be texting and driving isn't a bad idea, even if they aren't driving at the time they're told that.

Tougher penalties for using a mobile phone behind the wheel were introduced in March 2017, which saw the fine double to six points and a £200 fine.

It's intelligent enough to spot if Bluetooth is being used - so it won't penalise drivers who are hands-free.

Kate Goldsmith has been campaigning over the use of mobile phones by drivers: "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".

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

Signs will light up with the shape of a phone and a red strike through it when the system detects someone using their phone in the auto.

The new device will be first used on the A34 in Oxfordshire before being used across the rest of the Thames Valley and Hampshire police force areas. 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.

'It is vital that people take notice and stop using their mobile phones whilst driving'.

"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 in Hampshire".

In the collision, Aimee's stepbrothers Josh Houghton, 11, Ethan Houghton, 13 and their mum Tracey Houghton, 45, also died.

Detector units are being installed in accident hotspots, to deter motorists from using their mobiles.

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