New Police Tech Can Track If You Use Your Mobile While Driving

Fri 12th Apr 2019

A UK police force is trialling a new technology which will be able to detect if drivers are using their mobile phone while behind the wheel.

The device has been developed by British company Westcotec and will be used to warn drivers by using LED signals, much the same as those that detect if a driver is driving over the speed limit.

Describing the technology on the Westcotec website, the device is able to spot Bluetooth signals and admits that the system is not completely foolproof: “The technology can detect if a driver is using Bluetooth, and will therefore not trigger the warning sign. However, any system finds it hard to differentiate between users in the car, we accept that some activations might be triggered by non-driving occupants. The vast majority of activations will relate to drivers, and we don’t see a problem when passengers activate the sign. In fact, it’s all part of the education message that using a phone when driving is not only illegal but very dangerous.”

The technology will be trialled by Hampshire and Thames Valley Police as part of a week of ‘enforcement and education activity’ next week. The device will be placed on the A34 in Oxfordshire and also in a number of other locations in Hampshire and Thames Valley, with the police planning to stop those drivers who are caught by the technology.

The fine for getting caught driving using your phone is six penalty points and a £200 fine.