Using a mobile phone while driving could become impossible

Roshina Jowaheer
Driver using phone in car
Driver using phone in car

Mobile phones could soon be blocked from working while cars are in motion to stop motorists from being distracted while driving.

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The Department for Transport is planning a meeting with mobile phone companies and network providers in early 2017 to discuss the new technology which they hope will lead to safer driving.

According to The Times, ministers hope to make it impossible for drivers to make calls or send text messages and emails.

Almost one in three motorists admitted to using their phones while driving, with 17,500 people taken to court last year, the Daily Mail reports.

New penalties introduced this year mean that drivers caught using their phones automatically receive six penalty points and a £200 fine.

Earlier this week, Baroness Newlove, the victims' commissioner, said: "It is time to make using a mobile phone while driving just as unacceptable as not wearing a seat belt or drink-driving."

But former lord chief justice Lord Woolf slammed the plans and urged ministers not to "create more offences" as the number of UK prisoners rises.

Last year, a local council said it was using a new signal detector system in a bid to deter motorists from using their mobile phones while driving.

Norfolk County Council joined forces with police and road safety group Think! to create the system, which took three months to build.

It sees a flashing mobile phone sign light up as a car drives past if a phone is being used for a call or to send a text.

It was designed as a deterrent rather than to catch offending drivers, but the system could be developed into a camera and fine system.

Iain Temperton, a casualty reduction officer at Norfolk County Council, said: "It's a testbed, and if a new version of the technology comes along or it can be linked to a camera or automatic number plate recognition system it's something we would look towards."