New signs could snoop on drivers using their phones

New technology that detects when a driver is using their phone is being introduced in Sussex.

The ‘vehicle activated sign’ is triggered when a motorist approaches it while using their mobile phone. It then flashes, warning the driver to put their phone down.

But, unlike speed cameras, the sign won’t be capable of recording vehicle details, so it’s unlikely to lead to any prosecutions.

It’s been illegal to use a handheld mobile phone while driving in the UK since 2003. Many people continue to flout the ban, however, risking a fine of £100 and three points on their licence.

The new signs are being trialled in Sussex, where 1,800 drivers were caught using their phones while driving in 2014.

Funded by Sussex Safer Roads Partnership for use by Brighton and Hove City Council, the new technology is set to be rolled out across the county if the trial proves to be successful.

While the technology is unlikely to lead to prosecutions to begin with, it could result in speed camera-like devices cutting down on mobile phone use at the wheel in the future.