Is shame the best way to stop people from texting behind the wheel?
Texting while driving, or any use of a cell phone from behind the wheel of a car is extremely dangerous. In-car systems that read texts aloud such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto seek to mitigate some of the risk, but the UK government still wants to do more to get people off their phones. There are many ways to scare motorist into putting down the phone, but Express reports that the UK will use shame to get people to stop using their devices while driving.
The UK will test a new type of road sign which can detect when a car is sending signals from a cellular device. The electronic sign can then flash a symbol of a mobile phone, alerting drivers to put the phone down. The first of three test signs will be installed in Norwich, Norfolk, at a cost of £6,000 each (around $8,000). This sounds like a pretty neat idea, but it does have some limitations. First, the signs can not detect if the phone is being used by a driver or a passenger. Second, the sign can warn drivers, but it can't record the car's registration number or issue a ticket. This limits the sign's usefulness to an extent.
They may not be able to issue citations, but the data from the signs will be sent to the police, who can use it to set up crackdown zones. Current UK laws will impose a £200 ($265) fine and six points on their license. Using a phone while driving is extremely dangerous, so this system seems like a necessary evil to help make roads safer.
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