Phone Signal Scanners to Remind Drivers Not to Call-and-Drive

By Gary Cutlack on at

Norwich is about to open up a new front in the war on imbeciles talking on their fun devices while in charge of massive metallic battering rams, with a trial scanner able to detect mobile phone call signals installed to warn drivers to put it down and pay more attention to the road and humans instead of live notifications about sports.

Norfolk county council is installing Westcotec's roadside detector on one of the bits of the A140 it oversees, and claims it can pick up the radio signals emitted when someone's connected to a call; using this to illuminate a warning-not-to sign farther down the road. It doesn't monitor data connections though, so won't actually set the warning signs off if you're simply checking notifications or your phone's using a rare bit of 4G to update 53 apps you never use, and it won't shame drivers by capturing their number plates either -- it only illuminates the no-mobiles roadside sign.

Westcotec also says it can't differentiate between legal calls made by passengers and when it's the driver being a baddie, which is presumably why an advisory road sign is all it offers. Still, it might help, if anyone looks up from the streaming device on their lap to see it. [BBC]