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.
"The system cannot differentiate between a driver and the passengers on a bus, for example, but this goes some way towards remotely warning drivers that they can be detected using their phone".
It then flashes a symbol of a mobile phone with a line through it to remind drivers not to touch their handsets while behind the wheel. It can detect when a phone is being used in a hands-free system or via Bluetooth, in which case the sign won't be triggered.
The technology can not log number plates or be used to catch offenders yet, but these advancements are being considered for the future and it is hoped the current system will act as a deterrent.
Chris Spinks, from the company's sales team and a former head of roads policing in the region, told The Times that the system was designed to "educate and inform the driver" - Westcotec has no plans to create tech for use in prosecutions.
"Whilst this is still not a ideal science, the new generation of sign is significantly more accurate and reliable than the first". Norfolk County Council road safety team will be working closely with the roads policing team to share statistics provided by the detection system.
Using a mobile phone at the wheel now carries a punishment of six penalty points and a £200 fine, which was increased from three penalty points and a £100 fine a year ago.
"We will be using the information to help us target drivers in the future but the message is simple - leave your phone alone whilst you're behind the wheel", adds Jonathan Chapman, inspector of the Norfolk Roads Policing Unit.
The Council's Road Safety Team and local company Westcotec have worked together to develop and deploy the system.