Rules and regulations of the road state that drivers are never allowed to use mobile phones while driving. This is because of the many accidents that could happen and might have already happened. Using a mobile phone is not only distracting you from the going-on on the road, but it may also reduce an individual’s reaction time.
That is why it came to no one’s surprise that a new device is being tested by Hampshire and Thames Valley police.
The device that is being trialed was developed by a technology company called Westcotec. It is said to send a visual signal once it detects a driver to be using their mobile phones via their Bluetooth. It was developed to detect Bluetooth signals. Taking it even further, the device is also able to determine whether the mobile phone in question is being used through a hands-free system. If it is, then the driver is let go, scot free.
On the other hand, if it is not connected to any hands-free system, the device will automatically show a large sign of a mobile phone with a huge red line across it. This is supposed to remind drivers that using a phone while driving is as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol, for example.
As perfect as it sounds, Westcotec admits one design flaw of their equipment – it is unable to determine whether it is the driver or the passenger who is using the mobile phone. Understandably though since it is still in its trial phases.
The device will be tested by the police for a week. It will be part of the police’s “enforcement and education activity” that will be held for a week from April 15 until April 21. This is part of the National Police Chief Council campaign.
Reports say that the device will be hooked up at a specific location along the A34 in Oxfordshire. Enforcers will also be setting them up in different locations all across Hampshire and Thames Valley. In addition, they will station police officers along the way who will be tasked to stop those whoever is detected by the device using their mobile devices as they are on the road.
However, detailing where it could be found might just make it a failure. If the public is aware, then they would just stop using their phones around the locality where the devices might be. On the other hand, it will last for a week, making it possible for other drivers to forget them eventually, then, that will be when the device will be actually put to the test.
In 2017, stricter and harsher punishments were imposed. For those who are caught, six penalty points will be placed on their license, in addition to the £200 fine. If it goes to court, in addition to the £1,000 fine, the drivers found guilty will be disqualified.
500,000 drivers have been shown to be using the devices while on the wheel which puts everyone else to more dangers than ever before. Seeking out devices such as this can put everyone’s mind at ease (but not completely) that our enforcers are trying their best to keep everyone safe.